§ 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 89 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.