HC Deb 06 March 1967 vol 742 cc1030-1
18. Dame Irene Ward

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works if he will give an assurance that there will be no delay in the completion of the plans necessary to ensure that the building of the projected national library will be commenced in 1970.

Mr. Prentice

The scheme approved in principle in 1964 was subject to consultations with interested authorities, and was agreed on the basis of work starting in the early 1970s. Objections to the scheme have been received and are being considered. Progress so far is not incompatible with a start in the early 1970s.

Dame Irene Ward

While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for that reply, may I ask him whether for once he approves of what I say?

Mr. Prentice

I often approve of what the hon. Lady says, especially when she shows independence from the line taken by her own Front Bench.

Sir G. Nabarro

Woof, woof.

Mr. Prentice

The hon. Gentleman the Member for Worcestershire, South (Sir G. Nabarro) should not reprove the hon. Lady. I can tell her that we are giving careful consideration to the views of Camden Borough Council and of the people who have objected to the scheme on the site, but this process is not incompatible with making a start in the early 1970s, which was the original programme of the previous Government.

Mr. Strauss

In view of the grave backlog and of the necessity to make repairs and extensions, may we have an assurance that there will be no unreasonable delay and that the work will be done as soon as possible?

Mr. Prentice

The reply to both questions is that there will be no delay in the programmes announced.