§ MR. PERCY WYNDHAM
asked the Secretary to the Treasury, Whether in the matter of the threatened destruction of the Weavers Tower at Newcastle, the Lords of the Treasury had stated their opinion that its destruction ought not to take place except upon the decision of a clear majority of the whole number of the Council; whether he was aware that its destruction had been carried by a majority of one of the whole number of the Council; and, whether under the circumstances the Lords of the Treasury would not again interfere?
§ SIR HENRY SELWIN-IBBETSON
Sir, the Lords of the Treasury did express an opinion that the destruction of the building should not occur, except upon the decision of a clear majority of the whole number of the Town Council. I am informed by the Town Clerk that the Council when fully constituted consists of 64 members. When the discussion was held about the Weavers Tower there were two vacancies, reducing the numbers to 62. Of these, 48 were present at the meeting, 32 voted for the destruction, 6 against, and 10 declined to vote. The Treasury has no power to interfere further in the matter, as it has already signified its assent to the scheme for the free library, subject to a recommendation that the question of preserving the tower should be decided only by a clear majority of the Council. As only six members out of 62 were found to vote for the preservation, the division must be regarded as a decisive expression of local opinion, and I believe I may 24 say that the leader of the former opposition to the proposal was not prepared to object to the decision come to at the last meeting.