HC Deb 19 May 1843 vol 69 c573
Mr. W. D. Stanley

said, that presuming that the gates of Somnauth were of no great use in India, and that they could not well be employed to adorn the temple to which they had originally belonged, he wished to know if the right hon. Baronet at the head of the Government had any objections to their being brought home and deposited in the British Museum.

Sir Robert Peel

said, that knowing the interest which the hon. Gentleman had taken in the subject, he was not at all surprised at his anxiety to procure "for the public these valuable relics. The hon. Gentleman would, however, understand that the people of India might have similar notions to those which he himself possessed, and might feel great pride and satisfaction at possessing the memorials in question. He would, however, give the hon. Member all the information which he himself possessed upon the subject of the gates. It was contained in an official letter of Lord Ellenborough's, and although it was not usual to submit such documents to the House, he would read that part of it referring to the matter in hand. The right hon Baronet then proceeded to read the letter. It stated that it was satisfactory that no other feeling than that of gratitude to the Government, for having restored the gates, prevailed among the inhabitants of Hindostan. No religious feelings had been excited by the removal, upon the part of the Mussulmen; but that, on the contrary, the general feeling was that a triumph had been achieved. The gates had not been carried further than Agra, owing to the advanced period of the season, and there they would remain for the present. The right hon. Baronet continued: he hoped that the hon. Gentleman would permit the gates to remain where they are, and the more particularly inasmuch as they were regarded with great interest and admiration by the people of Hindostan.

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