HC Deb 17 July 1879 vol 248 cc614-5

asked the Under Secretary of State for India, Whether, in view of the forthcoming abolition of the Indian Museum, and the disposition of its contents, he will be prepared favourably to consider applications from provincial museums connected with schools of art for portions of the collection?


asked the Under Secretary of State for India, Whether, before the Secretary of State for India finally decides on the dispersion of the India Museum, he will state to the House what is proposed to be done with the various portions of the collection; and, whether he will have any objection to lay upon the Table any Memorials relating to the establishment in London of an Indian Museum, addressed to Her Majesty's Government by the Association of Chambers of Commerce of the United Kingdom, and by the Chambers of Commerce of Manchester, Liverpool, Bradford, Birmingham, and Glasgow, or any other documents bearing on the subject?


Sir, the Secretary of State in Council has finally decided on the removal of the collections now in the India Museum for the reasons I stated the other day, and a Committee has been appointed to consider the details of the arrangement. The important subject raised by my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucester (Mr. Wait)—namely, applications from Provincial museums connected with Schools of Art for portions of the collection—has been specially referred to it, and I can assure him it shall not be lost sight of. With regard to those portions of the collection in which my hon. Friend the Member for Cheshire (Mr. W. Egerton) is specially interested, and as to which his advice would be of the greatest value, I hope he will consent to put himself into communication with the Committee. There is no particular objection to the production of the Memorials mentioned by my hon. Friend, except that it would appear to involve a very useless expense, as they have already been printed and made public, and refer to wholly different proposals from those which are now made.


asked, Whether, before the dispersion of the collection, an opportunity would be given the House to consider the subject?


asked, Whether, before the dispersion, an opportunity would be given the large towns to see the collection in its entire state?


, in reply, said, he was afraid he could not give the engagement the hon. Member for Dundee (Mr. E. Jenkins) asked for, because it would involve the postponement of the matter until next Session, and would impose additional expense on India. He hoped the House would be content to allow the Executive to carry out the details in such a manner as they might be advised by competent persons. With regard to the Question of the hon. Member for Liverpool (Mr. Rathbone), he did not see how it was possible to send round to the large towns the whole of the collection. [Mr. RATHBONE: Or portions of it?] In any case, if what the hon. Gentleman asked was done, it certainly could not be at the cost of the revenues of India.