HC Deb 19 June 1900 vol 84 cc446-7
MR. WOODS (Essex, Walthamstow)

I beg to ask Mr. Attorney General whether the Land Revenue Records and Enrolments Office at St. Stephen's House, Victoria Embankment, is a public office, having the custody of public records; and, if so, why all the records and public documents kept therein are not open to public inspection in the same manner as the records are at the Record Office, on payment of proper fees; whether he is aware that the Court Rolls kept at the said Land Revenue Office relating to the manorial properties held by the Crown cannot be inspected by the public without the permission of the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Woods and Forests; and, if so, by what statutory power have the latter the right to refuse or allow such inspection; and, whether he will cause immediate inquiry to be made into the matter with a view to the public being allowed inspection and eopies of such records on payment of reasonable fees such as are charged at the Record Office.


I have made inquiry into this matter and find that some of the documents in the Land Revenue Record Office are open to public inspection. The rules of that office as to the particular classes of documents so open to inspection are in accordance with an opinion given in 1864 by the Law Officers of the Grown. If any document which it is desired to inspect relates to property under the management of some public department the written consent of such department is required before inspection is allowed. The fees payable for inspection and copies are fixed by the Treasury under 2 and 3 Will. IV., c. 1, s. 22, and are considered reasonable.