HC Deb 15 July 1842 vol 65 cc184-5

The House again resolved itself into a Committee of Supply.

On the proposition that a sum be granted not exceeding 11,817l., to pay the salaries of persons employed in the care and arrangement of the public records, and for compensations to keepers of the records, and others whose offices had been abolished.

Mr. H. Hinde

begged to call the attention of the House to the circumstance of the work entitled The Historians of Britain, undertaken by command of his late Majesty King George 4th, being left unfinished in consequence of the death of Mr. Petre. The expense of the work had been already not less than 12,000l.., and it would cost 2,000l. or 3,000l. more to complete it; but if it was completed, the sale of it would probably pay the expense. There would be no difficulty in finding persons to undertake its completion. He would also recommend that the other unfinished publications of the late Record Commission should be completed.

Sir J. Graham

said, he understood that Mr. Petre had left papers yearly amounting to a second volume, and it would be for the Government to consider whether any advantage would arise from its being finished as nearly as Mr. Petre's labours would allow. With respect to the other publications, he would refer the House to the letter written by the present Master of the Rolls to his own predecessor, Lord Normanby, recommending the publication of only certain of the old records, and would say that he was fully inclined to concur in the recommendation.

Dr. Bowring

asked what locality had been determined on as the ultimate receptacle for the national records

Sir J. Graham

replied, that the Victoria tower in the new Houses of Parliament (as we understood) would be selected.

Mr. Protheroe

thought a tower would be awkward for librarians and visitors, with all the interminable journeyings up and down corkscrew staircases. A building like the great college libraries would be more convenient.

Dr. Bowring

remarked, that at Copenhagen there was a tower appropriated to such a purpose into which a coach and four might enter.

Vote agreed to.