asked the Secretary to the Treasury, Whether valuable scientific opinion has been received by the Meteorological Council adverse to their intended arrangement for reducing the number of the Meteorological Stations from seven to three; whether, in the event of such a proposal being sanctioned by the Government, the Vote will be reduced by the cost of the maintenance of the disestablished stations; and, whether he will lay upon the Table of the House Copies of the communications which have taken place on the said matter?
I have made inquiries into this matter, and find that valuable scientific opinions have been received by the Meteorological Council, favourable and adverse to the proposed arrangements, and no final decision has yet been formed. Such decision rests with the Meteorological Council, and cannot possibly be given until they reassemble in the autumn. The Government does not interfere with the detailed administration of their grant. If these stations be reduced as proposed there will be no reduction of the Vote; but the money saved will be applied to other purposes connected with meteorology. When a decision has been arrived at, the Council will, no doubt, give it, and their reasons for it, in their annual Report to the Royal Society, which is laid before Parliament.