HL Deb 22 May 1874 vol 219 cc681-2

said that, although the houses in Parliament Street which stood in front of the new Government Offices had all been demolished before the meeting of Parliament, and the street might, he supposed, have been opened to its full width before now, nothing had been done since in the way of effecting that improvement. Perhaps the reason of this was that the Department of Works felt convinced that the taking down of the hoarding in front of the new offices would at once suggest a demand that the widening of the street should be continued down to the open space in front of the Houses of Parliament. It was perfectly clear, and had been so for years back, that sooner or later the block of houses which now stood between the new Offices and Great George Street must be pulled down. But as the old houses in that block fell one by one into decay, new ones were erected; so that for this as well as for other reasons the property was becoming more valuable every year. He hoped they would receive some assurance from his noble Friend that it was the intention of the Government to become possessed of it. He begged to ask his noble Friend the President of the Council when Parliament Street was to be opened to its full width in front of the new Government offices; and why nothing was being done now, or had been done for several months, towards completing that improvement?


said, the subject of his noble Friend's Question was one of the first which engaged the attention of his noble relative the First Commissioner of Works on his appointment to his present office, and he could assure his noble Friend that there was no ground for the suggestion that the delay in the completion of the undertaking was due to any dread on the part of the Department that they might be called upon to go further and pull down more houses to complete the improvement. His noble Friend started with assuming what was not quite correct—namely, that towards opening the street in front of the new Offices to its full width, nothing had been done for several months. The fact was there had been no cessation of the works. Sowers had to be formed, gas-pipes to be laid, and water-pipes and mains to be placed before the road could be formed; but before a very long time—he could not speak as to weeks or months—the 40 feet or SO feet which had yet to be opened would be thrown into the roadway.

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