HC Deb 30 November 1888 vol 331 cc592-3
SIR HENRY ROSCOE (Manchester, S.)

asked the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education, Whether the statements in the Calendar of the Department of Science and Art, that the various sections of the Science Museum have been reported upon by Committees of scientific experts, specifically with a view to the elimination of useless objects, are correct; whether any objects have been retained which the Committee reported should be got rid of; whether the space for the Science Collections has been greatly reduced since the Inter-Departmental Committee, of which Sir Frederick Bramwell was Chairman and Lord Lingen a member, reported; and whether, in consequence of such reduction of space, any Collections or portions of Collections have been dispersed which the Committee advised should be retained?


The statements in the Calendar are correct; and I am informed by the authorities of the Museum that no objects which the Committees advised should be eliminated have been retained. The space for the Science Collections has been considerably reduced since the Inter-Departmental Committee reported; and in consequence a great part of the Structural and Educational Collections has been dispersed.


wished to know what had become of the Collection which had been dispersed?


said, he was unable to answer the Question without making an inquiry. They had not been destroyed.

MR. MUNDELLA (Sheffield, Brightside)

May I ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether, under these circumstances, there is any necessity for a Committee?

THE FIRST LORD (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster)

Yes; the Government feel that there is a necessity for a Committee. They must propose a Vote to the House and a scheme for the enlargement of the Museum on their own responsibility; and looking at the fact that there does exist an opinion—whether well or ill-founded—that there are objects in the Museum which can be dispensed with with advantage to the Public Service, the Government would not be justified in making a proposal to the House to embark on any considerable expenditure, which they believe to be necessary, unless they had, first of all, satisfied themselves that every possible economy had been effected.