HC Deb 06 February 1941 vol 368 cc1079-80
66. Mr. Hannah

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether, in deciding that the old building between St. Patrick Square and Buccleuch Street has not sufficient architectural or historic interest to justify preservation, His Majesty's inspectors of ancient monuments were consulted; whether the neighbours were given any opportunity of expressing their opinion as to preservation; and by whose neglect the fabric is in its present condition?

The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Westwood)

The answer to the first part of the Question is in the affirmative. Representations by neighbours for the building's preservation were considered by the corporation before they decided to demolish it. The present condition of the fabric is due to its age and to the settlement of its front walls which, I am informed, renders reconstruction impracticable.

Mr. Hannah

Are not the Government seriously concerned at the way in which the Council of Edinburgh is pulling down, one after another, so many old buildings that give that city special character?

Mr. Westwood

The Corporation of Edinburgh gave full consideration to the petition that was presented. This building was erected in the seventeenth century. The Corporation got an improvement order in 1930, and as the property was acquired for demolition purposes in order to carry through an improvement, the question of maintenance did not arise.

Mr. Hannah

Do not other cities manage to keep their ancient monuments?