§ MR. RANDELL (Glamorgan, Gower)
I beg to ask the Attorney General whether certain correspondence took place between Sir A. K. Stephenson, the Solicitor to the Treasury, and the junior Member for Merthyr, in July 1890, respecting a chalice and paten discovered at Dolgelly, and claimed as treasure trove by the Crown; 1762 and whether Sir A. K. Stephenson was informed by the junior Member for Merthyr that the person entitled to the possession of the articles, pending inquiry, was the Coroner for the county, Mr. W. R. Davies, who would doubtless have been able to obtain possession of them for the Treasury; whether any steps were taken for the possession of such articles until after their sale lately in London for several hundred pounds; whether Mr. Boare, of the Strand, who purchased them at a sale at Christy's, has been served with a notice by the Solicitor to the Treasury, that such articles are claimed on behalf of the Crown; and, in the event of the Crown proceeding to enforce its rights, whether he will pay to the purchaser the amount which he paid for such articles, he having purchased them in market overt?
§ * THE ATTORNEY GENERAL (Sir R. WEBSTER,) Isle of Wight
In answer to the hon. Member's question I have to say that some correspondence did pass between Sir A. Stephenson and the junior Member for Merthyr, respecting a chalice and paten stated to have been discovered at Dolgelly under circumstances which the Advisers of the Crown believe would entitle the Crown to claim the articles as treasure trove. Since that time the Treasury has been unable either to ascertain in whose custody the articles have been, or to obtain sufficient information to justify proceedings for their recovery, and it was only after the sale referred to had taken place that they received any information which would enable them to trace the articles. Instructions have been given for the immediate commencement of proceedings to obtain possession of them. The position of Mr. Boare, and the manner in which he will be dealt with, will depend upon the facts elicited in the course of these proceedings.
§ MR. MUNDELLA (Sheffield, Brightside)
Is the hon. and learned Gentleman aware that at the sale there was a bid for the Government within a few pounds of the amount at which the articles were purchased?
§ * SIR R. WEBSTER
I certainly have not the information the right hon. Gentleman seems to have at his disposal.
MR. PRITCHARD MORGAN (Merthyr Tydvil)
May I ask whether the fact that the purchaser, having paid for the articles in market overt, is not an answer to the claim of the Crown?