HC Deb 21 May 1979 vol 967 cc693-4
39. Mr. Canavan

asked the hon. Member for Wokingham, as representing the Church Commissioners, what area of office space at Dean's Yard is let by the Church Commissioners to Parliament for the use of Members, secretaries and the like.

Mr. William van Straubenzee (Second Church Estates Commissioner)

The only property in Dean's Yard let by the Commissioners to the Department of the Environment and used to accommodate Members of Parliament and their secretaries is No. 3. It also includes Committee Rooms and the Fees Office. The net floor area of this accommodation is about 25,000 sq. ft.

Mr. Canavan

First of all, may I congratulate the hon. Member on his new job? He may be too Left-wing for the Government, but he is all right for the Church.

Will the hon. Member tell the Church Commissioners that those of us who have offices in Dean's Yard are very grateful for having the privilege of working on holy ground, even though it seems like walking almost halfway to Victoria Station sometimes after a Division in the House? Would the Church Commissioners have any objection if some of the part-time fossils in the House of Lords were decanted to No. 3 Dean's Yard in order to leave more office space in the Palace of Westminster for full-time Members of Parliament?

Mr. van Straubenzee

I am thankful to say that the removal of fossils or of anyone else from within the building is no part of the Commissioners' duties, and I cannot therefore answer for it.

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his kindly compliment, and I hope that, increasingly, the odour of sanctity will wipe off on him.

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