§ 31. Mr. Gordon Prentice (Pendle) (Lab)
To ask the honourable Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, if the House of Commons Commission will ban smoking in the Members' Tea Room. 
§ Sir Archy Kirkwood (representing the House of Commons Commission)
The Catering Committee makes recommendations on smoking in Refreshment Department outlets, including the Tea Room. I am sure that it would be happy to receive views from hon. Members, particularly the hon. Gentleman. As a good employer, the Commission discourages House staff from smoking, but it is also keen to protect them from the effects of passive smoking.
§ Mr. Prentice
That is a good reply. I do not consider myself a health fascist in any sense, but the time has come to protect our staff and Members themselves from passive smoking. In addition, there is not a single sprinkler in the building, so this world heritage site could easily go up in flames. I hope the Catering Committee will turn its attention to this serious matter.
§ Sir Archy Kirkwood
Most members of staff and most Members are non-smokers, but not all of them, so we must bear that in mind. Many smoking restrictions have been put in place, where practicable, on a case-by-case basis, but the hon. Gentleman's question is timely, and it may well be time for the Commission to look at the question of smoking in the Palace precincts in a fresh light. I am happy to consult colleagues and report progress to the House.
§ Julie Morgan (Cardiff, North) (Lab)
Is the hon. Gentleman aware of the study published by Imperial college last week that showed that every week passive smoking kills about one person working in the hospitality industry? That obviously affects our staff in the Tea Room as well as Members, so does he not agree that now is the time to act?
§ Sir Archy Kirkwood
Absolutely. We are conscious of that study presented at the Royal College of Physicians, 1440 and it is an important development. Passive smoking is emerging as a new health risk in the workplace more generally, so it is right that the House should recognise that and look at the issue again.