HC Deb 03 June 1985 vol 80 c14
20. Mr. Greenway

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make representations to the Port of London Authority about the level of noise from vessels passing close to the Palace of Westminster; and if he will make a statement.

The Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. John Biffen)

The authorities of the House keep in touch with the directorate of marine services of the Port of London Authority with regard to river traffic. If my hon. Friend has any particular point in mind, perhaps he would let me know.

Mr. Greenway

Is it not unnecessary for certain pleasure steamers to come so close to the Terrace, with the result that noisy bands and sometimes raucous singing drown the proceedings of Committees, sometimes for minutes on end? Cannot something be done about this?

Mr. Biffen

I must confess that this has been going on for some years and a bit of good-natured commentary from the river does not necessarily do any harm. However, I shall look into the point that my hon. Friend raises.

Mr. Skinner

Has the Port of London Authority sent the right hon. Gentleman any complaints based on the noise emanating from this place and disturbing the people travelling up the river?

Mr. Bifffen

Again, in terms of entertainment, it is a good two-way traffic.

Mr. Dickens

Does my right hon. Friend agree that if the Palace of Westminster were built in Trafalgar square or Hyde Park comer we might have something to worry about? However, as it is situated alongside Old Father Thames, with just a few vessels, tugs and motor boats going by, which is rather lovely, I agree for the first time with the hon. Member for Bolsover (Mr. Skinner) that there is much more noise from this Chamber than from the River Thames.

Mr. Biffen

Whatever supernatural force has joined those two together, let me put not asunder.