HC Deb 23 March 1965 vol 709 cc299-300
12. Mr. Ridley

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what advice he received from his Advisory Committee on Historic Buildings in connection with the listing of the Ritz Hotel, Piccadilly, as a building of historic interest.

Mr. Crossman

The Committee first recommended that the Ritz Hotel should be listed as a building of special architectural or historic interest in 1960. Action however was postponed. When this was brought to my attention by my hon. Friend the Member for Barking (Mr. Driberg) I at once gave instructions that this omission should be put right in order to ensure that any threat to this unique example of Edwardian taste should be brought to the attention of the planning authority.

Mr. Ridley

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for having taken the action he took, but is it not the case that the Advisory Committee suggested that the hotel should be listed and that, without reference to either him or to his predecessor, this was reversed and it was decided not to list it? Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that decisions of this sort, whatever the merits, should be brought to the Minister concerned? Will he take the necessary action to ensure that this is done in future?

Mr. Crossman

It is a fact that the Advisory Committee made its recommendation in 1960. What happened between then and autumn, 1964, is a matter for my predecessors and not for me.