New Clause. — (Injury to Ancient Monuments by Their Owners.)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd July 1953.

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Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton 12:00 am, 22nd July 1953

While I sympathise considerably with the remarks made by the hon. Member for Bournemouth, East and Christchurch (Mr. N. Nicolson), I would point out that in Clause 4 it is laid down that the Minister may out of moneys provided by Parliament make grants for the purpose of defraying in whole or in part any expenditure necessary, and that in some measure at least the problem raised by the hon. Gentleman opposite is met, because if the Minister makes grants, presumably through the Historical Buildings Council for one of the three countries, it is up to the Minister to see that the money so granted is spent in the way he decides.

I should like the opinion of the Solicitor-General upon this, but surely if the money which is granted is not used for the purposes for which it was granted the Minister or the Council can take action, on the ground that the recipient of the money is defrauding the Government themselves. I am not sure whether this really does meet the hon. Gentleman's point, but it seems to me that in that Clause there is a safeguard in some measure, and also in Clause 6. I should like to know what the legal opinion on this matter is.