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New House Of Commons (Oak Panels)

Volume 462: debated on Monday 7 March 1949

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asked the Minister of Works if he will provide for the inspection of Members two or three panels of oak similar to that which it is suggested shall be used in the new Chamber, which were treated five or ten years ago with the same grey stain now proposed to be used in the House.

There are no panels of oak which were treated five to ten years ago with the grey stain now proposed to be used in the House. Samples of oak recently treated have already been exhibited but I will arrange with the authorities concerned for them to be shown again. I am assured by experts that no appreciable change of colour is to be expected other than that which would be normal to the wood.

Is not the Minister aware that treatment similar to this was applied many years ago, that the oak today looks entirely different and cannot be cleaned, and that it becomes spotted if that is attempted? We do not want to make the Chamber look like a Hollywood cathedral.

The scientists who have been dealing with this matter assure me that that will not take place with this particular oak.