HC Deb 30 July 1924 vol 176 cc2049-50
39. Major CHURCH

asked the First Commissioner of Works whether his attention has been called to the suggestion to restore certain parts of Hadrian's Wall; and whether he will give his earnest consideration to the project, seeing that it-would provide work for a certain number of unemployed, under skilled supervision, and at the same time present to the nation a memorial of great historical and educational interest?


I can assure the hon. Member that a project of this kind would be viewed with the greatest sympathy by my Department. There is, however, no part of the wall in the charge of the Department, and, under the existing legislation dealing with ancient monuments, the Department is not empowered to spend money on repairs or excavations at monuments not in its charge.

Viscount WOLMER

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the object of this wall was to keep the Scots out of England?


And, like most things English, it was a miserable failure!


Has not the Minister power, under the Act, to schedule these ancient monuments, if he can ascertain in whose care they are, so as to demand of the owners of the monuments that they should keep them in repair?


If I have any further powers than I have been advised, they shall be taken into consideration.

Captain ELLIOT

May we have an assurance from the Minister that at least the wall shall not be used for its original purpose, and may I ask further whether, the wall having failed so lamentably in its original purpose, its restoration may not have the effect of retaining a number of Scotsmen here whom the Minister would desire to see go back?


I have no intention of keeping them on this side.


If the right hon. Gentleman does consider any reconstruction of the wall, will he incorporate in it the Stone of Destiny?