§ MR. LAWSON (St. Pancras, W.)
I beg to ask the Postmaster General whether there is any truth in the report that building has already been commenced on the site of the Coldbath Fields Prison for the purposes of the General Post Office?
§ * MR. RAIKES
The Post Office commenced taking possession of the old prison premises at Coldbath Fields in August, 1887; and the whole of the site and buildings are now occupied for Post Office purposes, except a small strip at the South Eastern corner, which has been sold to the County Council to widen the street. The Department has already, with the sanction of Parliament, expended about £14,000 on the premises.
§ MR. LAWSON
I wish to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, under the provisions of the Act 26 Geo. 3, c. 55, the Coldbath Fields Prison was erected out of money raised on the security of the Middlesex County Rate; and, if so, whether the land ought not to be devoted to the public use of the Metropolis?
§ MR. MATTHEWS
Coldbath Fields was erected with money borrowed on the security of the county rates; but the Prisons Act of 1877 prescribes what shall be done in the case of a discontinued prison, and the refusal of the Justices to acquire the site precluded the application of the Housing of the Working Classes Act, 1885, and left the Government without any power under the statutes to devote the land to such public use as the hon. Member suggests.
§ MR. LAWSON
May I ask by what authority any building has been commenced on this land without the sanction of Parliament?