HC Deb 13 December 1960 vol 632 cc213-4
50. Mr. F. Noel-Baker

asked the Minister of Works if he will now announce his plans for the Banqueting Hall at Whitehall.

Mr. R. Thompson

I cannot yet add to the reply given to the hon. Member for Dagenham (Mr. Parker) on 6th December.

Mr. Noel-Baker

As the beauty of this important building is a matter of great interest to organisations and individuals throughout this country and all over the Commonwealth, is it not time that the Ministry of Works got on with it? What are the reasons for this interminable delay?

Mr. Thompson

I understand the hon. Member's legitimate concern, but this is not as easy a matter as might be supposed. The occupation of the Banqueting Hall by the Royal United Service Institution is by grant of Queen Victoria in 1890, and no alternative proposal can be made to Her Majesty until entirely suitable and acceptable alternative accommodation is found for the Royal United Service Institution and other terms are agreed.