HC Deb 20 July 1964 vol 699 cc21-2
21. Mr. Swingler

asked the Minister of Labour to what extent his regulations on washing facilities in offices and shops will ensure universal provision of wash basins adjacent to lavatories.

Mr. Whitelaw

The Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act requires that both sanitary conveniences and washing facilities must be provided for employees at places conveniently accessible to them. As I told the hon. Member on 6th July, my right hon. Friend has no power to require wash basins to be placed adjacent to sanitary conveniences, but this will no doubt be the most usual arrangement.

Mr. Swingler

Bearing in mind the lessons that should have been learned from epidemics and such things, does the Parliamentary Secretary realise that the time has come for the universal provision of wash basins adjacent to lavatories? Does not he agree that this ought to be done and, if he has not the power to do it, will not he take it and require it to be done? It would be quite a simple step.

Mr. Whitelaw

I should like to make two points. First, I repeat that in the provision of washing facilities the Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act marks a significant step forward. Secondly, I must ask the hon. Member to consult his hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central (Sir B. Stross), who has considerable technical knowledge of this matter.