HL Deb 15 August 1901 vol 99 cc865-6


Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, the object of this Bill is to enable the Government to obtain some land adjacent to the National Gallery in order to make adequate provision against fire in that building. Only the other day a fire broke out in a house very close to the National Gallery, and the danger in that way is so great that a measure of this kind is necessary and advisable in the interest of the great works of art contained in the building. I hope, therefore, that your Lordships will give the Bill a Second Reading.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(The Earl of Dudley.)


My Lords, before the Bill is read a second time I should like to call attention to the fact that it is a Bill which enables land to be taken compulsorily. That is a very serious matter at this period of the session. I have, however, had a conversation with my right hon. friend the Chief Commissioner of Works, and I understand that he is prepared to omit the compulsory powers and that an Amendment to that effect will be moved in Committee. In these circumstances, although I am bound to say it is very late in the session for a Bill of this kind to be introduced, I do not think it right, having regard to the considerations which have been advanced by my noble friend, to oppose the Bill. But the taking of land compulsorily should not be allowed unless an opportunity is afforded to persons who may be injuriously affected to object.

On Question, agreed to. Bill read 2a accordingly, and (Standing Orders Nos. XXXIX. and XLV. having been suspended) committed to a Committee of the Whole House forthwith.

House in Committee accordingly.

Bill reported, without amendment, and read 3a.


I now beg to move an Amendment to carry out the suggestion made by the Chairman of Committees omitting the provision dealing with the compulsory powers of taking land.

Amendment made.

Bill passed, and returned to the Commons.