HL Deb 09 June 1902 vol 109 c73


Order of the day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, I have the honour, on behalf of the trustees of the British Museum, to ask your Lordships to give a Second Reading to this Bill. It is a very short and succinct Bill, and correctly explains the object which the trustees have in view. I need not remind your Lordships that the great pressure on the space of the British Museum buildings in Bloomsbury is a constantly increasing anxiety to the trustees. It is proposed, therefore, to erect certain buildings upon a site, for the purchase of which provision has been made, at Hendon, about a mile from the Hendon Station on the Midland Railway. The buildings will be of sufficient size to receive provincial newspapers and other printed matter which it is not necessary to store in the existing buildings. Those papers which are constantly referred to by visitors, however, such as the London newspapers, will be preserved, as at present, in the British Museum buildings in Bloomsbury. The land to be obtained, through the Office of Works, at Hendon is between four and five acres; a very moderate sum of money has been expended upon its purchase, and the buildings will be of a simple and inexpensive character, although every care will be taken for the due preservation of the papers deposited there. With regard to the ample precautions which have been taken against lire, we have been in communication with Captain Wells, and danger from fire will be precluded as far as human foresight can provide. The site will be vested in the Office of Works, as are the buildings and site which the trustees at present occupy at South Kensington. If any references are desired to be made to the papers at Hendon it is expected that a notice of a very few hours would be quite sufficient to enable the authorities to meet the convenience of the public.

Bill read 2a (according to order), and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Friday next.