HC Deb 13 February 1871 vol 204 cc168-9

asked the First Commissioner of Works, Whether any steps have been, or are intended to be taken, for providing a Patent Museum and offices adequate to the requirements of the nation, in pursuance of the Report for 1869 of the Patent Law Commissioners, and the several previous Reports therein referred to?


, in reply, stated that he held in his hand the Report to which the hon. and learned Gentleman's Question referred; but he was unable to find a recommendation in favour of any particular plan. In one part of that Report it was stated that it would be desirable that a Patent Museum should be built at Kensington; in another part reference was made to a suggestion that the proposed building should be erected on the Thames Embankment; while in another part it was stated that for the last 18 years a great many parties had been anxious that it should be built on the site of the present office in Southampton Buildings. He believed that for the last 18 years it had been a moot point where it would be convenient for the new Patent Office to be erected, and what should be put in it when it was built. It was doubtful whether any such building could be erected until an Act of Parliament was passed to regulate the management of the museum, having regard to the interests of manufacturers and traders. He might further observe that during the last few years the whole of the Patent Laws had been called in question, and Notice had been given by one hon. Member of his intention to introduce a measure dealing with those laws, and by two other hon. Members of their intention to move for a Select Committee in order to effect their total abolition. In the view of the possibility of the Patent Laws being entirely swept away, it would scarcely be desirable that steps should be taken to build a new Patent Museum.