MR. HINDE PALMER (for Mr. A. GREY)
asked the President of the Board of Trade, Whether it is not the case that the Superintendent of the Patent Museum is obliged frequently to refuse valuable gifts of models of inventions offered to the Nation, owing to want of space in which either to store or exhibit them; whether it is not also the case that the Patent Commissioners, in the Report which they present annually to Parliament, specially invite the public to offer to the Superintendent of the Museum, as gifts or otherwise, models of inventions; and, whether he will grant a Return, specifying the gifts which have been offered to the Nation, and which have been refused by the Superintendent of the Museum by reason of want of room?
§ MR. CHAMBERLAIN
, in reply, said, he was glad to say that the Question appeared to be based on incorrect information, because he learned from the Patent Office that during the past nine years there had only been six refusals of inventions offered to it, and that of these only one was based on the want of space, and 1532 even in that case there were other considerations which had to be taken into account. The remaining five were declined because they were not likely to be interesting or useful. Under these circumstances, he thought the hon. Member would not press for the Return referred to.