HC Deb 25 November 1985 vol 87 c604
32. Mr. Dubs

asked the Lord Privy Seal when he expects to be able to bring forward measures to improve the accommodation for right hon. and hon. Members.

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

The Services Committee is constantly considering ways of improving the accommodation available for Members; but substantial improvements depend on completion of phase 1 of the new parliamentary building, which is scheduled for 1990.

Mr. Dubs

Does the Leader of the House agree that the working conditions and office space available to Members of Parliament are woefully inadequate, and that an improvement is those working conditions does not represent a gravy train for Members of Parliament, but would enable us to do our jobs better?

Mr. Biffen

The overwhelming majority of hon. Members do a thoroughly effective job within the existing building. I have to say again that there is no likelihood of significant improvement before 1990.

Mr. Stokes

Is there any correlation between the size of an hon. Member's office and the success of his work here?

Mr. Biffen

If there were, I would be top of the league.

Mr. Dormand

Is the Leader of the House resisting the temptation to agree with some of his misguided hon. Friends who say that the Chamber is the only place where hon. Members should be and that therefore there should be no improved accommodation? Is that not nonsense? What is his view?

Mr. Biffen

My view is that there is no immediate prospect of a significant improvement in accommodation, but that the position should be significantly altered once phase 1 is completed in 1990.