HC Deb 21 November 1966 vol 736 cc917-8
10. Mr. Robert Cooke

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works how many square feet of additional office space have been provided to accommodate the 19,500 extra civil servants engaged since October, 1964.

Mr. Prentice

About 2.7 million sq. ft.

Mr. Cooke

Will they not be rather cramped because of this lack of space? What does the Minister intend to do about future expansions?

Mr. Prentice

Part of the increase is due to the relief of the very overcrowded conditions in which a number of civil servants were working. Part is due to the greater number of civil servants to which my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary has referred in recent Parliamentary answers.

Mr. Dobson

Would my right hon. Friend agree that the standards are now satisfactory? Would he bear in mind the need always to improve welfare and other accommodation that goes with it? May I have an assurance from him that he intends to go on replacing the old and rather dirty offices in many places by new buildings as soon as possible?

Mr. Prentice

Yes. We must make as much progress as we can on that front in the light of the economic situation. I agree that there are still many Government offices which are unsatisfactory.