§ Mr. Nicholson
asked the Minister of Works whether he is yet able to make a statement about measures to safeguard ancient monuments from destruction or damage.
§ Sir D. Eccles
The owners and occupiers of about 7,000 monuments listed under the Ancient Monuments Act were notified at the time of listing that nothing should be done to the monument without three months' notice being given to the Ministry of Works. I am considering whether reminders should be issued periodically. Although a listed monument is registered as a local land charge this information does not always reach those concerned when the land changes hands. Prospective owners or tenants could help by making it their business to ascertain whether there were monuments on land they were buying or occupying.
Owners of the more important monuments could also perform a valuable service by displaying a notice on the monument. The Ministry would gladly cooperate with them. Local authorities, learned societies and others interested might perhaps be prepared to help in providing such notices.
Anyone who comes across a monument which has been, or is being damaged, is asked to inform the Ministry of Works immediately. The number of cases of destruction is small, and I feel that public 38W opinion and the help of those interested could achieve as much as a large and expensive staff of inspectors.