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Royal Parks (Broken Chairs)

Volume 389: debated on Thursday 27 May 1943

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works whether he will take steps to repair the broken deck chairs in the Royal Parks, particularly now that people are asked to stay in town; and whether he will approach such organisations as the Lord Roberts' Memorial Workshops to make up any deficiency of labour in his Department?

Every effort is being made by the contractors, whose liability it is under the terms of their licence, to repair the deck chairs in the Royal Parks, but progress is unavoidably held up, not owing to any deficiency of labour, but to the limited supply of canvas material which is urgently required for the manufacture of fire fighting equipment and other vital war supplies.

As the hon. Gentleman is no doubt aware that the best means of spending a holiday is in the open air, especially for war workers, could he not provide seats for them when they get their holidays by devising some other form of material which will enable these chairs to be repaired, so that people can enjoy the sunshine?

I have great sympathy with the hon. and gallant Gentleman's point of view. Everything that can be done will be done.

Has the hon. Gentleman's attention been called to the piles of disabled chairs in St. James's Park, the majority of which can no longer be utilised and the remainder of which are dangerous to life and limb?

Over 6,000 free seats are provided in the Royal Parks in London, and the chairs are under the control of a contractor, whose job it is to repair them. It is not the job of my Ministry. The contractor is responsible for repairing them to our satisfaction, and representations have been made to him. There is no shortage of labour, but the material required for repair is just not available at the moment.

Will the hon. Gentleman arrange for tests to be carried out by himself and the Minister of Labour?