HC Deb 21 March 1961 vol 637 cc177-8
1. Mr. Lipton

asked the Minister of Works what stage has been reached in the compulsory acquisition of various properties in Bridge Street, Westminster; and what plans he has in mind for the use of this site.

The Minister of Works (Lord John Hope)

There was a public inquiry on 7th March into the amendment proposed by the London County Council to its Development Plan, covering my Department's designation of the Bridge Street-Parliament Street-Embankment site. Until the Minister of Housing and Local Government has reached a decision there can be no compulsory acquisition of any part of the site.

Mr. Lipton

Will the Minister bear in mind that hon. Members and their secretaries are working here in the Palace of Westminster in slum conditions that would not be tolerated outside? Will the right hon. Gentleman therefore use whatever influence he can to ensure the speedy acquisition of the Bridge Street site and the provision of further office accommodation to enable hon. Members to carry out their work much more efficiently than they can at present?

Lord John Hope

Yes, Sir. No time at all will be wasted, I can assure the hon. Member. Meanwhile, I know that he would agree with me that hon. Members are to be congratulated on bearing so cheerfully with the horrible conditions which surround them.

Mr. Hale

I cannot afford a secretary.