Lord Byron: 200th Anniversary - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords am 2:53 pm ar 16 Ebrill 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of The Earl of Lytton The Earl of Lytton Crossbench 2:53, 16 Ebrill 2024

My Lords, I thank the Minister very much for his reply, and particularly for his personal engagement and commitment to this. I draw to his attention that, in this House, in debate on 16 June 1958 about the then new Park Lane traffic scheme, Lord Mancroft, then speaking for the Government, said:

“It will be necessary to move one or two of the smaller memorials and statues, including Byron and the Cavalry and Machine Gun memorials, but, wherever possible, they will be re-sited in the vicinity”.—[Official Report, 16/6/1958; cols. 866-67.]

In the event, all were relocated, as far as I know, except Byron, which languishes in an isolated traffic island in the middle of Park Lane. In the light of the public fundraising that is going on to defray the cost of reversing both neglect and the fact that it has not been relocated as originally intended, and having regard to the bicentenary year, might the Government be prepared to assist financially in fulfilling the understandings given nearly 66 years ago, especially given that some department in the 1960s saved more than a bob or two in not moving the monument? I further suggest that it would be a rather appropriate way of honouring one of the nation’s major poets.