asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air what was the cost of the work recently carried out in refurnishing and redecorating the commander-in-chief's office at Amport House, near Andover.
The cost of redecorating and refurnishing this office, which is also used for conferences, was £605.
Does not the hon. Gentleman think that that is excessive expenditure for redecorating and refurnishing one office in times when we are all urged to be economical? Is he aware that door handles were fitted at a cost of more than £3 a pair, that electrical brackets which cost more than £15 a pair and one chandelier which cost £39 were fitted and that the library was redecorated with varnish and gilt at a cost of £300. Is not this excessive?
The main expenditure was, of course, in the purchase of furniture that was bought from the Ministry of Works and was in accordance with the Ministry of Works' scale for office furniture for administrative staff.
If that is the scale, ought not the scale to be cut?
Can my hon. Friend say when the work was taken in hand, and when it was undertaken?
Yes, it was ordered on 15th December.
Can the Parliamentary Secretary assure us that with the money expended the place has been made really comfortable?
I should like to assure the House that we are keeping a very careful eye on expenditure.