§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading, read.
THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY AND LORD PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL (The Earl of ROSEBERY)
, in moving the Second Reading, said: My Lords, I congratulate myself on being able to introduce a Bill which I think, even in a fuller House than this, would meet with acceptance. It is for the purpose of securing the future of the 1367 Museum as well as its protection from fire by the acquisition of the property mentioned in the Bill. The additional property consists of 69 houses and their gardens, all belonging to the Duke of Bedford, who has met the wishes of the Museum Trustees and of the Treasury in the most fair and liberal spirit. Of course it is quite obvious that if the Collections in the British Museum go on extending at their present rate it is of the most vital importance to secure the room for their expansion; and it has also been stated authoritatively to the Trustees by the Chief Officer of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade that there is a grave danger to the Museum in the existence of any buildings not in the control of the Trustees between that structure and Montague Street, Montague Place, and Charlotte Street. By this Bill that property will be placed under the control of the Museum authorities, and I think your Lordships will agree that that is a laudable object.
§ Moved, "That the Bill be now read 2a."—(The Earl of Rosebery.)
§ Motion agreed to; Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Thursday next.