HC Deb 01 May 1967 vol 746 cc88-9
50. Sir W. Teeling

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works how many times the main clock at St. James's Palace has broken down in the last 12 months; what has been the cost of repairing it; and what estimate he has made of the cost of replacing it, compared with the cost of future repairs.

The Minister of Public Building and Works (Mr. Reg Prentice)

The clock has stopped three times. Repairs and a recent major overhaul cost £557. Complete replacement of the clock is not considered necessary but the installation of a modern mechanism would cost about £2,500. In comparison, the cost of any future repairs should be negligible.

Sir W. Teeling

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that about a week after it had been repaired, it stopped again? Is he aware that it is in a beautiful position, with sentries underneath, and is probably one of the most photographed clocks in London, especially by foreigners, and that these faults cannot give foreigners a very good impression of our clock makers?

Mr. Prentice

I realise that, and it was because the clock had been repaired three times in 12 months that there was a major overhaul between February and April, this year. The overhaul was the first for 20 years and in the circumstances I think that the cost was reasonable. I hope that, as a result, there will be no further trouble.

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