§ Order of the Day for the House to be put into Committee read.
§ Moved, "That this House do now resolve itself into Committee."—(The Lord Chancellor.)
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
said, that, as this Bill interfered very seriously with the rights of property, they ought to have some assurance from the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack that the Schedule had been framed by competent authority after due inquiry, so that no injury would be done to the rights of private owners.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR,
in reply, said, that the Bill differed only in one respect—namely, in being voluntary, and therefore not interfering with any rights of property against the will of the owners—from former Bills which had been for several years successively before Parliament, and it had been carefully considered by the Office of Works. He had reason to believe that the Schedule of the Bill contained only those monuments as to the value and importance of which there was an agreement among all persons interested in the preservation of ancient monuments.
§ LORD TALBOT DE MALAHIDE
thanked the noble and learned Lord on the Woolsack for the introduction of the measure, because, although it did not go so far as he could have wished, it would lead to the preservation of a great many most valuable ancient monuments. In his opinion, this country was very much behind other European nations in this respect; and, as regarded the expense incurred in such preservation, he thought the Government very often strained at gnats and swallowed camels. A few years since there was an attempt, which had proved most successful, to extend this law to Ireland. By this means prehistoric monuments, both lay and ecclesiastical, in Ireland had been secured from destruction. The Rock of Cashel he might mention as one of the relics of antiquity which had been preserved.
§ Motion agreed to; House in Committee accordingly.16
§ Clauses 1 to 10, inclusive, agreed to, with Amendments.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
moved to exclude from the Schedule an ancient monument, the property of his noble Friend (the Duke of Richmond). His noble Friend expressed himself as perfectly willing and able to protect-the relic from destruction.
§ Amendment negatived.
THE DUKE OF BUCCLEUCH
said, that the Bill appeared to be entirely permissive; and he presumed that as to those monuments which were not in the Schedule, it would be open to the Commissioners of Works to accept them or not.
THE LORD CHANCELLOR
said, that monuments not mentioned in the Schedule would not at present come within the scope of the Bill; but he would consider, against a future stage, whether provision might not be made for adding others, with the concurrence of the owners and the Board of Works.
§ Schedule agreed to.
§ House resumed.
§ The Report of the Amendments to be received on Monday next.