§ Mr. Steen
There are more unoccupied bedrooms in the Palace of Westminster estate than there are in the Hilton hotel, Park lane. Of the 66 bedrooms in the Palace, only two thirds have been used in the past five years. Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that it would be better for those bedrooms to be converted into offices for hon. Members than to be left as bedrooms exclusively for the use of officials?
§ Mr. Beith
There are not 66 bedrooms, but 66 beds for the use of staff who are required to work during late sittings. Some of the beds are in dormitories which the hon. Gentleman might find do not compare very favourably with the accommodation in the Hilton hotel. The House has made a number of provisions for offices for hon. Members, including additional accommodation at Millbank, and of course the completion of the accommodation in the new building will ensure that all hon. Members who want a single room can have one.
§ Mr. Maxton
Is not it becoming clear that however much money this place spends on trying to improve facilities for hon. Members, we can never provide on this site a modern, democratic Parliament? Is not it time that the House of Commons Commission was given the job of examining the viability and cost of building a brand new Parliament outside London altogether?
§ Dame Elaine Kellett-Bowman
Bearing in mind the fact that there are 19 bars in this establishment, is it really essential to take as another bar the Lady Members' Terrace Room, where lady Members have worked since 1945, from the days of Bessie Braddock?