§ 4.0 p.m.
THE EARL OF HOME
My Lords, I have a short announcement to make on quite a different subject, the future of Downing Street.
THE EARL OF HOME
I am confident about the future of the occupant—he needs no support; but the place might. The Report of the Committee 1138 on the Preservation of Downing Street is being presented to Parliament as a Command Paper, and copies will be available in the Printed Paper Office this afternoon. We are most grateful to the noble Earl, Lord Crawford, and his colleagues for their labours. The Report recommends—and I wish to make it clear that the Committee were concerned only with the fabric of the building: so that answers my noble friend's question—that Nos. 10, 11 and 12 Downing Street should be given a major structural overhaul. The external appearance of the houses would, so far as possible, be retained, and rooms and features of historic importance. The Report also recommends the appointment of an independent architect to draw up plans. For this purpose my right honourable friend the Minister of Works proposes to appoint Mr. Raymond Erith.
§ VISCOUNT ALEXANDER OF HILLSBOROUGH
My Lords, I am obliged to the noble Leader of the House for this statement. Many noble Lords, on both sides of the House, will know enough of the shakings that the premises had during the last war to realise that probably a good deal of work requires to be done. But I am old-fashioned enough to hope that, with the reinforcement of the fabric, we shall not have too big a change in the appearance of the house, which is a great relic of the efforts which have been made to establish democracy in this country.