HC Deb 02 March 1835 vol 26 cc469-71
The Chancellor of the Exchequer

moved, that that part of his Majesty's Speech which related to the destruction of the Houses of Parliament should be read.

The Clerk having accordingly read those passages,

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, he was sure that there would be on the part of that House a unanimous disposition to recognise the propriety of the steps taken by his Majesty on the occasion of the lamentable casualty referred to. Immediately after the occurrence of that event, his Majesty had adopted measures for the temporary accommodation of both Houses of Parliament, reserving it entirely for both Houses of Parliament afterwards to point out to him what course would be most likely to suit their convenience, and that of the public, and without interfering in the slightest degree with any arrangement which Parliament might subsequently see fit to make on the subject. He rose for the purpose of proposing that a Committee should be appointed to take into consideration the best means of remedying the mischief which had been done. He had drawn up a list of Gentlemen for the approval of the House, and in doing so he had confined his selection to a limited number, from the persuasion that such was the most likely means of promoting the object in view speedily and efficiently. His selection had been made in perfect fairness, and comprised Gentlemen who, from their habits of business and position in the House, would be most likely to give satisfaction. He trusted that the House would sanction his selection, and having done so, that motions would not, day after day, be made for additions to the Committee, a practice which had much inconvenience. He wished, also, to observe that his Majesty's late Government, with a view to new Houses of Parliament, having called in the advice of a Government architect, that Gentleman had drawn out a plan, which had met with the full approbation of his Majesty's present advisers, and this plan would be submitted to the proposed Committee. Should the Committee think fit to disapprove of the plan, nothing had passed with the architect which rendered it incumbent on the Government to adopt the plan in question, which he trusted, however, would be found worthy of mature consideration.

Mr. Hume

wished to know whether it would be competent in the Committee to determine upon the site of the House, or whether this point was to be left to the House itself? Of the Committee which had been appointed on the subject last Session more than half were disposed to change the site.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said that the reference to the Committee proceeded on the assumption that they were to consider of the best means of providing new Houses on the present site; and his own impression was, that this plan would best suit the convenience both of the Parliament, and of the public. The House of Lords also was about to appoint a Com- mittee, and, no doubt., that Committee would be in communication with the Committee of the Commons.

The Committee was appointed.