§ SIR R. ASSHETON CROSS (Lancashire, S.W., Newton)
asked the Secretary to the Treasury, Whether, in order to prevent further risk of accident, the Government are prepared to take charge of the Duke of York's Column and the moneys belonging thereto?
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. HENRY H. FOWLER) (Wolverhampton, E.)
The Duke of York's Column was built by a Committee of gentlemen, between the years 1831 and 1834, out of monies raised by a public subscription. It was built upon part of the site of Carlton House, which was pulled down about 58 years ago. After the removal of the house the greater portion of the site was laid out for building, and the remainder was thrown into St. James's Park. The steps leading up to the Column, and the greater part of the base of the structure, are within the Park. Until a few years ago there was a keeper, who admitted persons to ascend the Column through a door on the Park side, which has now become dilapidated. The keeper no longer exists, and the Column is closed to the public; and when the right hon. Gentleman (Sir R. Assheton Cross) was at the Home Office it was found that the steps were practically impassable, owing to the accumulation of débris. There is in Messrs. Cox's hands a sum of money, believed to be between £2,000 and £3,000, representing the balance of the funds subscribed for the erection of the Column; and possibly part of the money received as admission fees; but since the death of the last survivor of the original subscribers nobody appears to have any authority over it. The question what public body should have charge of the Column will require to be decided by legislation, and the subject is now under discussion. I am 739 informed that the state of the Column has been recently examined by the Office of Works, and that there is no risk of accident.