HC Deb 17 June 1968 vol 766 c696
28. Mr. Dudley Smith

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works how often public statues and memorials in London, for which he is responsible, are inspected to see if they have been defaced, with a view to cleaning or repairing them.

Mr. Mellish

Public statues and memorials in my care are normally cleaned about every three months, when they are also inspected for damage or defacement. Any necessary repairs are carried out as soon as possible.

Mr. Smith

Is the Minister aware that, in view of that Answer, there must be a great lack of efficiency and co-ordination among those responsible? As he is in an apologising mood, will he see to it that the people concerned get on with this work and that memorials of this type are kept up to scratch?

Mr. Mellish

It seems as if we missed the King George V statue more often than we should. I shall find out about that. I do not understand why the hon. Gentleman could see the symbol and we could not.

Mr. William Price

Is my right hon. Friend aware that many statues have been defaced by political extremists in the Warrington and Leamington constituency, and that the defacements seem to take a long time of disappear? Would not it be as well if the hon. Gentleman turned his attention nearer home?

Mr. Mellish

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman could find time to do many things other than those he is probably doing at present.