HC Deb 24 July 1940 vol 363 cc823-4W
Mr. Bevan

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Home Security, as representing the First Commissioner of Works, how many rooms in the Foreign Office are being placed at the disposal of the Secretary of State; how many bathrooms are being constructed; how many workmen have been employed converting these rooms into a residence; what amount of the cost will be met by the Secretary of State; what amount will be charged for the accommodation; how will the staff displaced be provided for; and what will be the cost of this provision?

Mr. Mabane

As the Prime Minister informed the hon. Member for Maryhill (Mr. J. J. Davidson) on 18th July, certain Ministers, whose duties are intimately connected with the conduct of the war, have been asked to sleep in their offices. The Prime Minister stated on that occasion that these Ministers should not be obliged to incur expense. The rooms in the Foreign Office which are being placed at the disposal of my Noble Friend as an official residence comprise five rooms for his personal use, one room for the use, if necessary, of the permanent Under-Secretary of State, and one room for the private secretary. There will, in addition, be the usual domestic offices with bathrooms for himself and his staff. The staff displaced as a result of these arrangements are being provided for without extra expense in space recently vacated in the India Office. As regards the other parts of the Question, I would remind the hon. Member that the details of all arrangements made will be subject to examination by the Public Accounts Committee in due course.