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House Of Commons (Ventilation)

Volume 499: debated on Tuesday 22 April 1952

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asked the Minister of Works what instructions he has issued to his maintenance staff in the House of Commons about preventing attempts by hon. Members or others to open windows on the floor below the new Chamber.

Windows in basement and ground floor offices are kept locked. When a Member asks for a window to be opened, the Control Engineer advises him that if the window is opened the air conditioning will not work efficiently but, if the Member still wishes to have the window opened, this is done.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this complaint would not arise if the air conditioning system did not make the atmosphere almost intolerable? Is it not almost worse than Socialism that a Minister is not allowed to open the window in his own room without first asking permission?

I will look into the complaints about the quality of the air, but I think it would be worse if we threw the air conditioning system out of gear by opening the windows.