HC Deb 09 February 1960 vol 617 cc208-9
9. Mr. Wyatt

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what request he has now received from the British Transport Commission to demolish and move buildings at Euston station scheduled as historic monuments; what reply he has made; and if he will make a statement.

Sir K. Joseph

The British Transport Commission has given notice that it intends to remove the Great Hall and the Doric arch at Euston Station. The notice was given to the London County Council, which has informed my right hon. Friend. He is now considering the matter.

Mr. Wyatt

Will the Parliamentary Secretary agree that it would be an act of vandalism to destroy the Great Hall and Shareholders' Room at Euston Station, which was the first railway station to be built in any capital city of the world and is designated as an historic monument? Having agreed that, will he see to it that the British Transport Commission is made to produce an alternative scheme for lengthening the railway line, with the platforms and other improvements at Euston Station, so that it does not have to destroy the Great Hall and Shareholders' Room? Will he agree also that it might be acceptable to remove the Doric Arch nearer to Euston Road provided that it is not in any way disfigured or altered in so doing?

Sir K. Joseph

The two months' notice required does not lapse till the middle of March, during which interval my right hon. Friend is considering the alternatives about the Arch. As regards the Great Hall and Shareholders' Room, the proposals are now under discussion with the B.T.C., L.C.C. and external advisers to see whether their proposals can be modified in any way.

Mr. Snow

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that not everyone is convinced that there is a case for the protection of the Doric Arch on artistic grounds? Whilst it may have historic interest, not everybody is convinced that it has great artistic merit.