§ MR. CROMBIE (Kincardineshire)
I beg to ask the First Commissioner of Works what is the reason for Hamilton Gardens, Hyde Park, being closed in, and the public excluded from them; 1026 how many persons have, at present, got licences to enter the gardens; whether such licences are granted to any applicant or only to those living in the neighbourhood; what revenue is derived from these licences; and whether he would consider the advisability of opening the Gardens to the public?
§ THE FIRST COMMISSIONER OF WORKS (Mr. SHAW LEFEVRE,) Bradford, Central
The small garden of Hamilton Place was enclosed in the reign of George IV., for the reason that this part of the Park was a resort of disorderly characters addicted to the commission of grave nuisances. The number of key licences issued for the present year is about 120. Any respectable householder in the neighbourhood who applies for a key is allowed to have one for the payment of the annual subscription of three guineas. The revenue for the present year has been about £400. In view of the cost of throwing the Garden open I am not aware of the question having been mooted.
§ MR. J. BURNS (Battersea)
May I ask the Chief Commissioner whether, the nuisances having disappeared, the right hon. Gentleman will open the Gardens?
§ MR. SHAW LEFEVRE
No doubt the causes which led to the closing of the Gardens have entirely ceased, but it would be necessary with regard to a new departure to consider the question of loss in revenue and expenditure.