HC Deb 20 December 1960 vol 632 cc1047-8
16. Sir J. Vaughan-Morgan

asked the Minister of Works what experience of designing buildings in the tropics the architect had who was appointed to design the residence of the High Commissioner in Lagos.

Lord John Hope

None, Sir.

Sir J. Vaughan-Morgan

In view of the adverse criticism that has been made about this building, and in view of the fact that some of the finest examples of contemporary architecture are in Nigeria, designed by a well-known British architect, does not my right hon. Friend agree that a most unfortunate choice was made?

Lord John Hope

No, I do not think it fair to say that. I should be very reluctant to agree with the proposition that one should necessarily or always choose an architect who has done something in that particular locality. Architects of high quality such as Mr. Lionel Brett are, I believe, capable of imaginative work even in areas with which they are not familiar.

Mr. Tilney

Could my right hon. Friend say whether the £110,000, which I understand will be the total cost, covers everything, including furniture? What was the original estimate?

Lord John Hope

The answer to the first part of that supplementary question is "Yes," but I will check it. If my hon. Friend will put down a Question about the last part, I will answer it.

Mr. J. Griffiths

Is it not a pity that this was done in this way, since in Ibadan there is a wonderful example of British architecture which shows real imagination? Why could not the same people do this in Lagos?

Lord John Hope

Of course, that is an arguable view. I do not dispute that, but equally I suggest to the right hon. Member that my previous Answer provides an arguable point.