HC Deb 28 February 1938 vol 332 cc759-60W
Mr. Macquisten

asked the First Commissioner of Works whether, in view of the fact that the herbarium at Kew Gardens contains over 1,000,000 specimens gathered over many years from all parts of the world, that these specimens have great scientific and educational value and are practically irreplaceable and uninsurable, he will have the herbarium fitted with sprinkler-apparatus against fire so that it and its contents may be protected against loss and damage?

Sir P. Sassoon

I am aware of the great value and importance of the herbarium at Kew Gardens and its contents, and my hon. and learned Friend can be assured that the arrangements for safeguarding them from fire have received, and will continue to receive, my Department's most careful attention. I am advised that the existing arrangements are satisfactory. A sprinkler system has not been installed as, in the event of an outbreak, the water from it might easily do more damage to the contents, in this special case, than the fire itself.