HC Deb 20 May 1998 vol 312 cc399-400W
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory

To ask the Attorney-General on what date(a) he and (b) officials in his private office were told that allegations of a breach of the UN arms embargo on Sierra Leone had been referred to HM Customs and Excise. [41882]

Mr. Burstow

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans he has for the future use of the unoccupied Public Record Office in Chancery Lane; and what estimate he has made of the freehold value of(a) that site and (b) the tenant-free accommodation of the Science Reference Library and Patent Office, at 25 Southampton Buildings and Furnival Street, London WC2. [40145]

Mr. Fisher

The property formerly occupied by the Public Record Office in Chancery Lane is vested in the Crown Estate Commissioners. The property is currently for sale but there is at the moment no indication of its value since this is expected to vary according to its eventual use. The Commissioners intend that the building should be used in keeping with its Grade II listed status.

The freehold of Southampton Buildings, currently occupied by the British Library's Science Reference and Information Service, will be sold on the Library's vacation of the property in the summer of 1999. Proposed options for the sale are currently the subject of discussion between the Department and the Library: the value of the building will depend on the method of sale and the prevailing market conditions.