§ 50. Sir M. CONWAY
asked the hon. Member for the Pollok Division of Glasgow, as representing the First Com- 38 missioner of Works, whether he proposes to take any steps, by scheduling under the Ancient Monuments Act or otherwise, to prevent the unnecessary destruction of the recently discovered arch of the mediaeval London Bridge; whether he will use his influence with the Bridge House Trust to obtain from it such small funds as may be needed to preserve it; and whether he will impress upon the owner of the site the great public importance of the monument in question?
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
The Office of Works was anxious to preserve the notable ruins of old London Bridge, and approached the owners, who, however, were not prepared to incur the very heavy expenditure involved. The First Commissioner, moreover, regrets that the funds at his disposal made it impossible to contemplate a purchase, while a Preservation Order would suspend building operations now in progress for any period up to 18 months, during which time the Order would have to be confirmed by Parliament; and, as my Department could not guarantee such confirmation, it is possible that any such action might not succeed in preserving the archway.
§ Sir M. CONWAY
Will my hon. Friend answer the second part of my question, and state if he will use his influence with the Bridge House Trust to obtain such small funds as may be needed to preserve this arch. Will he also impress upon the Bridge House Trust that the employment of the small sum of money necessary for the preservation of a very important monument is obviously a duty, incumbent upon the Bridge House Trust?
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
I have no doubt my Noble Friend the First Commissioner of Works will take such action as is possible.