HC Deb 16 July 1963 vol 681 cc325-6
33. Mr. E. Taylor

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works what recent steps he has taken to improve the state of the water in St. James's Park lake; and what are his future plans.

Mr. Rippon

Towards the end of last year, areas at each end of the lake in St. James's Park were cleared of silt. Samples of the water are taken regularly and pumps are brought into use immediately the oxygen content falls to a level that endangers the fish. I hope soon to make arrangements for the removal of the remainder of the silt at the two ends of the lake and for more permanent arrangements for the aeration of the water, probably by means of a cascade.

Mr. Taylor

I am sure that the many thousands of visitors there will appreciate the efforts my right hon. Friend has made on behalf of—I almost said the birds—our feathered friends which are so attractive, but can I persuade my right hon. Friend to spend a little more time on the welfare of the fish instead of the sex of the pelican?

Mr. Rippon

I am very interested not only in the fish but in the birds.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Would the Minister consider making a comprehen- sive study of the water in London's various parks so as to make it all as pure as that in Highgate swimming pond for swimmers in the interest of public health?

Mr. Rippon

It is very much like other water, but I will look into it very carefully.

Mr. Stodart

Is it the state of the water which has delayed my right hon. Friend in carrying out his promise to the pelican that he would be joined by two female companions before long?

Mr. Rippon

That is another question. I hope that the pelican will not be lonely for too long.