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No 10, Downing Street

Volume 654: debated on Tuesday 27 February 1962

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asked the Prime Minister what communications he has received regarding the televising of the interior of No. 10, Downing Street, on the completion of its repair.

None, Sir. But I will consider in what way the public interest in this historic house can best be met.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that no one, probably not even the right hon. Gentlemen on the Front Bench opposite, would object to the expense of this tremendous undertaking? Right hon. Gentlemen opposite probably have hopes of getting there some day. Is not my right hon. Friend aware that in these days of consumer protection taxpayers are anxious to know whether their money is being spent in the best way? Lastly, does my right hon. Friend agree that it would be a fine thing for people to go to No. 10, and perhaps my right hon. Friend could act as guide?

I have been considering various suggestions, and I will certainly try to work out something before the house is reoccupied. There are difficulties, of course, which are obvious, about having it on view for any length of time. I think that television would be the best possible method, but I will consider that nearer the time.

Can the Prime Minister say when the repairs are likely to be completed?

I think that fresh difficulties have been found with the foundations, not so much with No. 10, but with the whole block, which, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, suffered severely from the bombing.