HC Deb 23 July 1913 vol 55 cc2179-81

Order for Second Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."


I desire to ask a question of the hon. Member for St. George's-in-the-East (Mr. Wedgwood Benn), who, I understand, is in charge of this Bill. While the Bill was in the other House a promise was given by the First Commissioner of Works that, so far as Scotland was concerned, a separate Advisory Board would be set up to deal with the ancient monuments of that country. Clause 15 of the Bill has words to this effect:— and may, if and when they think it desirable to do so, constitute separate Advisory Boards for Scotland and Wales. I do not want to offer any opposition to the Bill, of which I approve; but I want the hon. Member to assure me that the undertaking which was given in the other House is a Parliamentary undertaking; that the matter will not be left in this form, but that when the Bill becomes law a separate Advisory Board will be set up at once to deal with Scottish monuments.


This, in my opinion, is a very good Bill. We ought to be grateful to the Upper House for giving it the consideration they have and passing it. I am of opinion though that it does not go quite for enough. I have a few Amendments I would like to make, and I propose to put them down for the Committee stage. I trust that now I shall get some encouragement to go forward with them.


I do not think it necessary to go beyond what my Noble Friend said in the House of Lords in reference to the Scottish Advisory Board. I think my hon. Friend should be satisfied with the expression of the intention of the First Commissioner to set up such a Board. Perhaps between now and the Committee stage we might discuss the matter together and come to some understanding. As regards the hon. Member for Somerset, I trust he will not put down any Amendments of a controversial kind, because I am afraid if he does so time could scarcely be found for them, and it might be bad for the Bill.


Will a similar Advisory Board be established for Wales?


The First Commissioner has the power to establish separate Boards both for Scotland and Wales.


Will the Scottish Board be similar to the Welsh Board?


Perhaps my hon. Friend will give me time to consider.


I hope the hon. Member for Somerset will not talk to make the Bill go further, and that it will be passed without discussion. I know well his opinion about preserving bar parlours and public houses in the Midlands, but if he attempts to make this Bill go further,, then he will prevent its passage.