HC Deb 31 January 1918 vol 101 cc1750-1

(by Private Notice) asked the Secretary for Scotland whether he is in a position to make any statement in regard to proposals for the use of Edinburgh Castle for the purposes of a Scottish National War Memorial?


The question of a Scottish National War Memorial in Scotland has been brought before the Government in connection with the larger scheme for the creation of an Imperial War Museum in London and with special reference to the fact that after the War Edinburgh Castle will no longer be required for the accommodation of any large body of troops. It has been suggested that no site could be found so appropriate to a Scottish National Memorial associated with the present War and with other wars by land and sea in which the Scottish nation, Scottish troops or regiments, or men of Scottish birth or descent have played a part, as the castle of the ancient capital of Scotland, and that, if His Majesty's Government were willing to allow it to be so used, under suitable safeguards for the protection of its architectural and other distinguishing features, an appeal would be made to Scottish patriotic sentiment which would meet with a unanimous response.

I regarded it as my duty to lay this suggestion before the Cabinet Committee appointed for the consideration of the scheme for an Imperial War Museum, and through them before the War Cabinet. I am glad to say that the War Cabinet have indicated their general approval of the proposal to dedicate the Castle to the purposes named, which may ultimately develop into the even wider purpose of a treasure-house for the National History of Scotland. The scope and objective of the proposal, however, including the desirability of any such development, must be closely scrutinised. I propose, therefore, to nominate a Committee to consider how the scheme, which will at the appropriate time involve an appeal for a national subscription, can best be matured during the War. I should add that I approach the subject with an open mind, and that I am in no way committed to any particular scheme which may have been under public discussion.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say when he will nominate this Committee, and whether there will be any delay?


No, Sir; there will be no delay.


Will this Committee be purely Scottish?


Is what has hitherto been known as the National War Museum in future to be known as the Imperial War Museum?


The Imperial War Museum is the appropriate and proper title, and not the National Museum.