HC Deb 20 July 1914 vol 65 cc13-4

asked whether the Botanic Society have for several years sublet a portion of their gardens in Regent's Park for a golf school at a minimum rental of £200 a year; whether this rental has been included in the accounts under receipts for admission to the gardens; whether the tropical medicine garden has recently been rooted up and a number of bushes and trees cut down to provide a new golf ground, and whether these proceedings of the society, which purports to have a botanical object, have been taken with the cognisance and previous approval of the Commissioners of Woods and Forests?


I am informed that the Royal Botanic Society, until recently, sublet a small portion of their gardens for instruction in golf at a minimum rent of £200 a year, which rent I am informed appears as a separate item in the Society's accounts. That part has now been utilised to make better provision for exhibition of flowers, and the Society have recently formed a new small ground (which they are not subletting) for instruction in golf on what was practically waste ground, though it had at one time been used as a "French garden," and some fifteen years ago had been used for growing hardy medicinal and economic plants (not tropical). The new area for instruction in golf has been turfed, and in laying it out a few shrubs were removed or trimmed, and one tree cut down. The Commissioner of Woods in charge (Mr. Leveson-Gower) was not consulted before these small alterations were made, but he sees no reason to object to what has been done.


Does this society, although called the Botanic Society, take any interest whatever in the science of botany?


On whose initiative were these steps taken?


I could not say without notice. The Commissioners did not hear of these slight alterations until they were completed.