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Magna Gharta (Lincoln Copy)

Volume 414: debated on Monday 15 October 1945

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asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether any decision has been reached as to what is to become of the copy of Magna Charta that was sent to the New York World Fair in 1938, and afterwards lodged for safe custody with the Library of Congress at Washington.

In accordance with the undertaking given by my Department to the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln Cathedral, to whose generosity is due the loan of this historic document for exhibition in the pavilion of the Government of the United Kingdom at the New York World's Fair 1939–1940, arrangements are being made, with the concurrence of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, for the return of the Lincoln copy of Magna Charta to its owners. I am glad to take this opportunity of voicing our deep appreciation of the kindness of the Librarian of Congress in undertaking the safe custody of the document since 1940; and in giving citizens of the United States an opportunity, when conditions permitted, of seeing it displayed in the Library of Congress. Equally, I am sure that the House would wish me to express its thanks to the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln for their public spirited action in sanctioning the loan in 1938.