HC Deb 02 June 1880 vol 252 cc1011-2

Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on Question [25th May], That a Select Committee be appointed, &c.

Question again proposed.

Debate resumed.


expressed his regret that Sir John Lubbock, who had originally brought forward the question, was not in the House to again take charge of it. If a subject of so much interest was to be dealt with in a new House of Commons, it should only be after full information was before them; and he concurred in the suggestion of his right hon. Friend the Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Beresford Hope) that such information should be obtained. He would prefer a small Royal Commission for Committee of the House proposed by his right hon. Friend, which could visit and take evidence of the various localities in which ancient monuments of great interest were to be found. It would certainly, in his opinion, be absurd for the House to legislate on the subject without having before them the information which could be so obtained; and he thought that when those two whose views were so divergent as his noble Friend (Earl Percy) and the right hon. Member for Cambridge University could be brought to an agreement on some such plan as that proposed it would be a pity not to come to some arrangement of the kind that had been proposed.


was also in favour of a full inquiry, such as that suggested, being instituted.


hoped that the inquiry would be made by a Commission rather than by a Committee. There was, however, no urgency in the matter, and it might well stand over until the gentleman, to whom reference had been made and whom they would be all glad to see once more among them, returned to the House. He had always opposed Sir John Lubbock's Bill, as it was calculated to interfere with the rights of private property.


in reference to remarks made on a former evening by the hon. Member for Warwick (Mr. A. Peel), said, it was true that in the last Parliament he had withdrawn his opposition to the Ancient Monuments Bill. He had done so, thinking it was only respectful to bow to the decision of the House, although he dissented from that decision. In a new Parliament, however, he thought he was not acting inconsistently in asking that a full inquiry should be instituted.


joined in the appeal to the Government to agree to the proposal to refer the Bill to a Select Committee. He thought it was necessary that the inquiry should be made as to the ancient monuments, which might be confided to the care of any Commission. There were some ancient monuments of much interest on his property; and he would consider it a hardship if, without his leave, a stranger should claim the right to interfere with them. He regarded these monuments quite as much his own personal property as any part of his estate. He trusted that if an inquiry were agreed to it would result in the settlement of the question in a satisfactory manner, in reference both to the rights of property and the interests of the public.

Question put.

The House divided: —Ayes 63; Noes 148; Majority 85.—(Div. List, No. 15.)