§ MR. YOXALL (Nottingham, W.)
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury 938 whether he will consider the appointment of a Select Committee of this House to inquire into the desirability of establishing in the United Kingdom a system of national protection and conservation of buildings of historical or biographical interest, such as exists in France under the Loi du 30 Mars 1887, whereby a Government grant of 1,427,000 francs is available for the purpose this year.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I should be very sorry to express any opinion on this question, or even go the length of saying that it is ripe for discussion before a Committee of this House. I have looked at the French law, and I find that it entirely turns upon the discretion of a Minister who is competent, or understood to be competent, to deal with questions of this kind. I am not sure that I should like to add to the labours of the central Government in this country such addition to their responsibility as the copying of the French law would entail.
§ MR. YOXALL
But the right hon. Gentleman is no doubt aware that the Minister is assisted by a specially appointed Commission.