HC Deb 05 March 1963 vol 673 cc183-4
8. Dr. Stross

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works whether he is aware of the need to preserve certain industrial monuments; and whether he will make a statement with particular reference to the listing of these monuments in Great Britain.

9. Sir H. Kerr

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works whether he is aware that a great number of industrial works of the greatest interest still survive in this country; and whether he will consider making a list of these monuments.

11. Mr. Albu

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works whether, in view of the growing interest in the history of science and technology, he will take steps to encourage research into the history of the many industrial monuments which exist in this country.

13. Mr. Boyden

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works if he has received the Report of the Council of British Archaeology on the preservation of industrial monuments in Staffordshire; and what plans he has now made for the more effective preservation of industrial and scientific monuments in England.

Mr. Rippon

My Ministry and the Council for British Archaeology have now agreed to co-operate in a nation-wide survey of industrial monuments, which I hope will start within two months. I am grateful for the help of the Council for British Archaeology and I hope that industry will also co-operate. The pilot survey in Staffordshire will take several years to complete, but the work so far done has already provided useful guidance on this problem.

Dr. Stross

Does the Minister realise that that Answer is quite satisfactory and that his recognition of the work done for so many years by the Council of British Archaeology is much welcomed?

Mr. Rippon

I am grateful for that assurance.

Sir H. Kerr

I welcome my right hon. Friend's statement, but can he say whether these industrial monuments are considered of sufficient importance to be eligible for grant from the Historic Buildings Council?

Mr. Rippon

In certain circumstances this may be possible, but that, of course, is not the purpose of the survey.

Mr. Albu

In view of the time which the survey will take, will the Minister take any steps in the meantime to preserve monuments which might be lost, for instance, the first iron bridge in the world, the Coolbrookdale Bridge, the Pontcysyllte aqueduct, and the Abbeydale Works at Sheffield, which still have some of the original tilt hammers in them?

Mr. Rippon

I am perfectly prepared, while the survey is taking place, to use the powers I have under the Ancient Monuments Act to preserve worthy structures of this kind.

Mr. Boyden

What type and what numbers of staff has the right hon. Gentleman available for this project?

Mr. Rippon

I propose to appoint one expert to help in what will be a voluntary survey carried out under the auspices of the Council of British Archaeology by its many constituent organisations.