HC Deb 18 December 1945 vol 417 cc1117-8
90. Sir W. Darling

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how much the fund of money available before the war for the building of a Scottish national library amounted to at the beginning of the war; and how much it is now.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Thomas Fraser)

I presume that the hon. Member's Question refers to the bequest of £115,877 8s. 4d. made by the late Sir Alexander Grant towards the cost of a new building for the National Library of Scotland to be erected by His Majesty's Government. This bequest is administered by a private endowment trust and instalments are payable there from, on request by the Ministry of Works, simultaneously with payments not less in amount to be provided by the Government out of public funds, as the work proceeds. I am informed that the payments made by the trust up to September, 1945, amount to £24,408 4s. 9d. The balance in hand was at the beginning of the war £102,938 19s. 10d., and is now £91,469 3s.7d.

Sir W. Darling

Can the hon. Gentleman tell me if he is in a position to state when the Government will agree to proceeding with the erection of this important national building?

Mr. Fraser

I am afraid I cannot give the hon. Gentleman any assurance as to when this erection is likely to be completed. After all, the housing problem in Scotland cannot be neglected to allow this building to go up.

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