§ 48. Sir HENRY CRAIK
asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the interest, historical and otherwise, attaching to the site in Abingdon Street opposite to the Houses of Parliament and contiguous to Westminster Abbey, he is prepared to consider whether it is possible 1816 to acquire that site for the public so that its ultimate use should be decided solely upon public grounds?
The First Commissioner is grateful to my right hon. Friend for his suggestion, but regrets that in the present condition of the national finances it is impossible to contemplate the acquisition of the site in question.
§ Sir H. CRAIK
Is the hon. Gentleman keeping in mind the fact that if there should be a loss it will be paid for by future generations, who will not hold this generation blameless in the matter?
As a matter of fact, it is under the jurisdiction of the London County Council. If any building takes place they naturally have a good deal to say in the matter.
§ Mr. HARDIE
Are those who own that part of the ground anti-nationalist, or German, or something anti-English, that we cannot get this matter right without all this trouble?
§ Sir H. CRAIK
Is it not a fact that only four houses in that area of Abingdon Street are held by private owners?
I do not know about that. Three are held by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and several others are held by the Commissioner of Works, the rest are in private hands.
§ Major HORE-BELISHA
Will the hon. Member undertake that in no circumstances will the important houses 18 and 21 be interfered with?