HC Deb 08 May 1900 vol 82 cc1099-100
LORD BALCARRES (Lancashire, Chorley)

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury if his attention has been drawn to the fact that by the Schedule of Public Records (South-Eastern Circuit) it is proposed to destroy documents existing, or in ordinary course about to exist, in the office of a clerk of assize; and whether, in view of the fact that this right of prospective destruction is only granted by the rules (30th Juno, 1890) and in no way contemplated by the Act (1877, c. 55), he will endeavour to check the practice, there being no limit to the number of schedules of such documents which may be presented to Parliament. † See The Parliamentary Debates [Fourth Series], vol. lxxxi., page 1523.


The schedule of documents in the office of the clerk of assize of the home division of the South Eastern Circuit applies only to classes of documents already existing and clearly defined in the schedule, or to such as shall be similar in every particular to one of these classes, and which shall have attained the ages respectively specified in the second column of the schedule. It gives no right of prospective destruction of any documents the character of which is not strictly defined in the schedule. The present schedule closely corresponds to a schedule of documents in the office of the clerk of assize of the Oxford Circuit, which was laid before Parliament in 1890, in accordance with the rules then in force, which were the rules first formulated under the Public Record Office Act, 1877. The rules of 1890 were approved by Her Majesty in Council in accordance with the Act of 1877.


Is the hon. Gentleman prepared to answer a supplementary question?


Not without notice.