§ MR. SCOTT (Ashton-under-Lyne)
To ask the Secretary to the Treasury on what grounds was the hour of closing the reading-room of the British Museum changed in the autumn of 1904 from 8 p.m. to 7 p.m. and what result has the change had on the attendance in the evening after 6 p.m.; and whether with a view to render this national institution available for other than professional students, he will consider the advisability of keeping the museum open later.
(Answered by Mr. McKenna.) The Trustees state that, whilst the reading-room is largely attended during the earlier hours of the day, very few readers made use of it between 7 and 8 o'clock. On the other hand the cost of keeping the room open till 8 o'clock and of continuing the working of the electric light, is considerable, and, in view of the scanty attendance after 7 o'clock, does not seem to the Trustees or to the Treasury to be any longer justified.