HC Deb 17 March 1864 vol 174 c182

said, he rose to ask the First Commissioner of Works, Whether, taking into consideration the great inconveniences of the present Patent Office, it is the intention of Her Majesty's Government, in accordance with the recommendation of the Patent Commissioners, to afford facilities for erecting suitable Patent Offices, including library and museums, &c., upon the site of Fife House, Whitehall, it appearing that the Crown lease of this property has recently expired, and that the Commissioners of Patents have ample funds at their disposal for building purposes?


said, in reply, that he had been in communication with the Commissioners of Patents with the view of finding more extended accommodation both for their offices and museum. There was, however, great difficulty in making a suitable arrangement. The offices ought to be in a situation where there would be ready access to those professional gentlemen who were engaged in legal proceedings in regard to patents; and the museum was required to be accessible to the general public, and particularly to those who were interested in inventions. At present, no site had been found. That to which his hon. Friend alluded, between Fife House and the intended embankment of the Thames, was not at present available, and could not be disposed of until the river works had made greater progress, and streets had been laid out on each side in connection with the embankment.


asked, if the House was to understand that Fife House was to be taken from the United Service Institution?


said, his reply was that no decision had been come to as to the use to which Fife House was to be applied. The matter was at present under consideration.