HC Deb 12 November 1969 vol 791 cc404-5
39. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Lord President of the Council why the work undertaken during the Summer Adjournment to improve the acoustic arrangements in the House of Commons, remains unfinished; and if he will direct the attention of his relevant experts to the modern scientific arrangements, details of which have been sent to him.

Mr. Peart

Manufacture and adequate testing of the equipment and installation could not be completed in the time available. I am advised by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Public Building and Works that his Department is aware of the equipment to which my hon. and learned Friend has referred, but does not consider that these arrangements would be appropriate here.

Mr. Hughes

Does my right hon. Friend really mean that the resources of modern science cannot do for the House of Commons what has been done in the Top Rank Centre at Brighton, where the three great parties of the State held their annual conferences this year?

Mr. Peart

My hon. Friend must realise that the circumstances of the two places that he mentions are quite different. At the Top Rank Centre, speeches are normally made from a rostrum with a microphone in front and roving microphones are passed about for speeches from the floor. It is rather different here: he must appreciate this.