HC Deb 24 March 1971 vol 814 cc534-5
43. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Lord President of the Council what plans are in hand for the improvement of working conditions for Members of Parliament.

Mr. Whitelaw

I assume the hon. Member has principally in mind the question of Members' accommodation. Major improvements must inevitably await the new parliamentary building in Bridge Street, planned for completion in 1978, but the new accommodation over the Tea Room should at least provide office space for about a hundred more Members by October next year.

Mr. Hamilton

Does the right hon. Gentleman recognise that some Members of this House are working in conditions far worse than those in many factories in this country, and that, in fact, if factory workers had to work under our conditions they would be out on strike tomorrow—subject to the Industrial Relations Bill? Will he inject some sense of urgency into this matter to see what further provision can be made without waiting till 1978, or whatever the date is, for the provision of the new building?

Mr. Whitelaw

I would not wish to follow the hon. Member in the first part of his remarks, but I entirely agree with him that it is important for us to provide accommodation as soon as we can. He will appreciate that the accommodation over the Tea Room is to be provided and will be ready by October of next year.