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Volume 202: debated on Thursday 30 June 1870

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said, he wished to ask the First Commissioner of Works, Whether, as at this advanced season there was no indication of any works in progress, it was intended not to proceed during the present year with the erection of the new Home and Colonial Offices?

said, he wished to know what progress has been made towards acquiring the block of buildings in King Street, Parliament Street, which were to be removed in order to improve the approaches to the Houses of Parliament?

said, in reply, the building of these offices would be proceeded with as soon as the Government had given the requisite sanction. The matter did not rest with him; the plans and estimates were under the consideration of the Government, and he expected their decision in a few days. The purchases of property had not yet been completed. Several of the houses required were specially let for short terms, and there was no intention of pulling them down until their demolition was rendered necessary by the progress of the new new buildings. It was an error to suppose that they were to be pulled down for the improvement of Parliament Street—a matter with which the House would not have concerned itself, and the cost of which would have had to be borne by local funds. The houses had been purchased solely on account of the new offices, and the destruction of them would depend upon the progress of the new buildings. The Act passed authorized the purchase of one side of Parliament Street only, and did not authorize the Government to interfere with the other side.