HC Deb 24 July 1967 vol 751 cc51-2
44 and 112. Mr. Hamling

asked the Lord President of the Council (1) whether he will now seek powers to ensure that sections 4 to 15, inclusive, of the Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act, 1963, shall apply within the Palace of Westminster and so provide protection for all those who work in the Palace of Westminster;

(2) how far the provisions of the Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act, 1963, are used as a standard for deter- mining accommodation and facilities in the Palace of Westminster.

Mr. Crossman

The Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act, 1963, does not apply to any Crown premises. Such premises are, however, inspected by Her Majesty's Factory Inspectorate in order to fulfil the intention that the standards laid down in the Act should be observed. Such an inspection has been made in the House of Commons and the recommendations of the Inspectors have been implemented. The standards of the Act are, on Mr. Speaker's direction, applied so far as possible.

Mr. Hamling

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is a suspicion in certain quarters that this exemption of Crown premises is insisted on to save my right hon. Friend from a criminal prosecution?

Mr. Crossman

That is a very unfair imputation. If my hon. Friend has details by which he could establish that there was any failure to implement the Act, I hope that he will bring them to my attention.

Mr. Onslow

Does the fact that the servants of the House have been recently obliged to work such arduous hours give the Minister some sadistic pleasure?

Mr. Crossman

I should have thought that the Opposition should take some responsibility for the success of their opposition.