§ MR. ALFRED BILLSON (Halifax)
I beg to ask the First Commissioner of Works (1) whether steps can be taken to publish without further delay a new edition of the Guide to the Royal Gardens, Kew, which has been out of print for several years, seeing that similar Questions have been asked in this House in 1891, 1892, 1893, and 1895, and that in 1892 the then First Commissioner of Works stated that the Guide was almost ready, and that it was hoped to issue it during the summer; (2) whether it is 632 intended to continue the issue of the monthly bulletin of miscellaneous information in connection with. Kew Gardens; (3) whether he is aware that the number for December last has not yet appeared; (4) whether only one number has been issued this year; and (5) whether any progress has been made with the continuation of the Flora of Tropical Africa, the completion of which was authorised by the Treasury in 1891, on the understanding that one volume would be published every two years; or whether, owing to the non-fulfilment of this condition, the authorisation has lapsed; and in that case, will it be renewed?
§ THE FIRST COMMISSIONER OF WORKS (Mr. AKERS-DOUGLAS,) Kent, St. Augustine's
Owing to great pressure of work at Kew the Director seems unable to make rapid progress with the new edition of the general guide to the Gardens, beyond the preparation of guides to various departments, ten of which have been recently published and are on sale. The answer to paragraphs 2 and 3 of the hon. Member's Question is in the affirmative. Only one number has been issued this year (January). A new volume of the Flora of Tropical Africa will be ready next year. Instructions were last Autumn issued to the Director to have the work proceeded with as quickly as possible, and an additional assistant was given him that he might have more time for its supervision.