HC Deb 14 April 1970 vol 799 cc1201-2
26. Mr. Kenneth Lewis

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works whether in considering the site for the proposed Sir Winston Churchill statue in Parliament Square, he will also arrange to build an underpass into the Square itself so that people can see the statue.

Mr. John Silkin

The hon. Member's proposal is not one that can be considered in isolation from the general traffic proposals.

Mr. Lewis

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that if the Chancellor of the Exchequer tried to get to the House today via Parliament Square he would probably be late because in the first place he would have difficulty in getting on, and secondly he would have difficulty in getting off? Is he aware that this square is the most isolated in London and that no one can get there? It is supposed to be used for the general public, yet it is hardly possible to get on or off. Would he give this serious consideration?

Mr. Silkin

I have some sympathy with the hon. Gentleman's point. It is a very crowded square and it is clogged with traffic. The whole question of the road pattern is one, and this question is already under review in connection with the new parliamentary buildings and the proposed redevelopment of Whitehall.

Mr. Arnold Shaw

In view of the constant demands from the Opposition to cut public expenditure, may I ask my right hon. Friend to use any available money for projects which are more essential than this?

Mr. Silkin

This is a question of taste. There are those who believe that the whole traffic problem in the parliamentary precinct is one of fundamental importance. As for the Opposition complaining about the spending of money, that is not really a matter for me.