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The New Commons Chamber

The new House of Commons Chamber was opened in the presence of King George VI on 26 October 1950. Two days earlier Prime Minister Clement Attlee made a thanksgiving address to Parliament where he spoke with great eloquence about the new chamber being like the old, 'a home of free debate and a strong fortress of liberty'. As leader of the opposition, Churchill replied to Atlee's speech and referred to himself as a ,Child of the House of Commons, and declaring that the House of Commons 'stands forever against oligarchy and one-man power'. Special consideration was given to the House of Lords who had allowed MPs to meet in their chamber in the years after the bombing. The new Commons chamber was designed by architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott and engineer Doctor Oscar Faber with the principle being 'A New Home in the Old Tradition'. Much of the furniture in the new Chamber consisted of gifts from Commonwealth countries; Australia gave the Speaker's Chair, Canada the table of the House and Jamaica the Bar. A year later Churchill would be debating in these new environs as Prime Minister once again.