HC Deb 30 July 1839 vol 49 cc1006-38
Mr. Hume

rose to move that the return to the order of the 14th of March last he made forth-with, viz., a return of the amount of money received for admission, and of the number of persons who visited the exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts in each of the years 1836, 1837, and 1838; distinguishing the entrance money from the proceeds of the sale of catalogues; together with the amount paid in salaries and perquisites to each person employed in that establishment in each of those years; also, the miscellaneous expenses under separate heads in each of those years; and the average number of students who have attended the Life School and that of the Antique, in each of those years. The hon. Member said, this matter had become one of considerable importance, and, in his opinion, called for serious attention, especially as no objection whatever had been made to the return at the time he moved for it. The annals of Parliament, he believed, did not furnish an instance of an institution profiting largely as this did by public assistance, having exhibited conduct equally contumacious. There could be no manner of doubt about the benefit received by the Royal Academy from the public funds. The value of the chambers which they formerly occupied rent-free, in Somerset-house, was not less than from 700l. to 800l. a-year. These they had enjoyed many years. But the accommodation now allotted to them by the public could not be estimated at less than from 2,000l. to 3,000l. annually. Why should the Royal Academy (which received so much of public money) refuse to submit their accounts to the House of Commons? If George 4th had not thought fit to refuse compliance with an order of the House fir returns of the names of all persons having apartments in Hampton Court, and every other palace in the country, with other particulars, he (Mr. Hume) was unable to conceive any valid reason why this institution should be exempted from submitting their accounts. It then became a question, what right they had to so much and so expensive accommodation at the hands of the public; and what services they had rendered to the arts, to become entitled to this extent of accommodation? Their refusal to make the returns required, might fairly raise the question whether there ought to be any academy with such assistance from the public. He contended, that the academicians had no title or right whatever to occupy the National Gallery, except as far as their arts might be useful to the public; no grant was made of it. The Academy, in the opinion of some persons, acted as a blight upon art, and was injurious instead of being beneficial to it. The lectures of the Royal Academicians, so much spoken of, might be gratuitous—they might be good—but they did not amount to nineteen in the course of the year, yet such was the extent of their science. The academicians stated in their petition, amongst other claims on the public, that they had gratuitously educated, according to the best principles of art, nearly 2,000 students in 68 years, the most promising of whom had been sent by them to pursue their studies in Italy. Now, would the House believe, that out of that number of 2,000, only fifteen had been sent to Italy by the Academy, viz. five painters, five sculptors, and five architects, at an expense of between 4,000l. and 5,000l.? In seventy years, from 1768 to this time, the estimated amount received by the Academy for admittance to the exhibitions, and for catalogues, was 252,000l. The salaries to the academicians paid out of this sum amounted to 73,000l.; and yet, by their petition, they would have the country believe that their services were entirely gratuitous. The pensions in the same period to distressed objects amounted to 12,000l., and the expenses of the annual dinners to 19,700l. These were some of the principal items of expenditure since the establishment of the Academy. Much stress bad been made on the expenditure for the support of the school for promoting the fine arts, and the public were left to conclude that the greater part of their receipts had been paid for the support of the schools; whereas, whilst the unappropriated accumulated fund was 32,000l., the expenses of the schools, in addition to the sums paid on account of the academicians themselves, had been in the sixty-eight years only 36,000l.; and to that extent, and no more, were the arts, in a pecuniary point of view, indebted to the Academy. All these items were taken from the evidence of the president and secretary before the Select Committee in 1836, and are deduced from their statements. By the financial statement of the Royal Academy, the present annual expenditure appeared to be:—academicians' salaries (including their deputies, the professor of anatomy, and the assistant secretary), 1,700l.; their annual dinner, 280l.; pensions to members and their relations, 490l.; making a total of 2,470l. The general expenses, including servants' wages, workmen, light, fire, models, printing, advertisements, and incidental matters connected with exhibition, were 860l., and on account of the schools, 840l.—together, 1,700l. The sums paid to students at Rome, 120l.; and as charity to the profession at large, 460l.—together, 580l.; making a gross annual expenditure of 4,750l. The annual revenue on an average of ten years at Somerset-house was:—receipts at the door, 5,000l.; and interest of accumulated fund, 1,400l.; giving a total of 6,400l. The balance of revenue over expenditure was, therefore, 1,650l. Since its removal to the new National Gallery, the income, it was supposed, had increased 1,500l. on the admission fees, making a balance of 3,150l. in favour of the Society: the total receipts in the present year probably has been 10,000l. He came now to the petition of the President and the Council of the Royal Academy, presented to this House; and he should examine a few of the principal allegations. In that petition they state— If your petitioners had conceived that by their removal they should incur any new obligation—if they had supposed that they should be rendered amenable to any new authority, or subjected to any other responsibility, save that which they owed to their Sovereign, from whose gracious hand the President of the Academy received the keys of the building they now occupy, they could not have hesitated a moment to decline any advantage or accommodation that was to be purchased at such a price. The Select Committee on official houses summoned the secretary of the Academy, who stated their claim for their residence whilst at Somerset-house, but did not establish a right; the Academy was not mentioned in the Act 15th George 4th, in which the several establishments were recapitulated. They had acknowledged the right and power of the House to examine the secretary and president in regard to the Academy, and their responsibility was surely not less in the National Gallery than when they answered the Committee, while in Somerset-house. They further stated in their petition— But whatever may be their pretensions, legal, moral, or equitable, to the undisturbed occupancy of their present habitation, your petitioners readily admit, that their best title is the use they make of it—the purpose to which it is applied. If your petitioners cannot hold it by this tenure, they desire not to advance any other claim. How far the Royal Academy has fulfilled the covenants implied under a lease of this kind, they now respectfully submit to the decision of your honourable House. Mr., now Sir Martin Shee, in his "Elements of Art," and other works, had said as much as any man of late years to prove an academy injurious to the arts. At pages 26, and following, of "A Plan for National Encouragement," &c., he declared The creation of establishments for the regular cultivation of art, the mode, perhaps the most expensive and always the least effectual; that in this kind of corporate creation a spirit is often generated, as active as it is injurious, which perverts all zeal and disappoints all patriotism—the establishment spirit. This work was published in 1809, and the following Extracts were applied to the Royal Academy. But, I may observe, that he was not then, nor did he, perhaps, expect ever to be president of the Academy. His present situation will account for the altered language in the petition from that in 1809; he says, Most of the eminent painters of the present day were self-taught, and the ablest masters of the past will not be found amongst those who studied in the celebrated schools of Italy, but amongst those who formed them. Alluding to the professor of anatomy, who was not an academician, he said to the members:— It would be more creditable to our industry, as well as to our knowledge, if we made ourselves competent to the task of instruction in that part of anatomy which is connected with our art. Whatever is necessary for a painter to learn, a painter should be able to teach; no other person can do his duty for him with equal advantage. * * * Anatomists can hardly be said to be acquainted with a living muscle, or an elastic motion. Amongst our errors of this kind, the general neglect of architecture as a study necessary to painting, is not one of the least conspicuous. For the president's opinion of the advantage of Exhibitions of works of art, which the petition vaunts so highly, he turned to Mr. Martin Shee's observations, 'The Radiant Star of Academic Skies.' Whatever advantages may be supposed to arise from public exhibitions of the works of art, there is reason to fear that they are more than counterbalanced by the evils which attend them. * * * In this country, it must be acknowledged, that our greatest painters have not been the fruit of this tree. Reynolds, West, Barry, Hogarth, Wilson, Gains-borough, were ripe in fame and merit before it can be said to have been planted among us; and if we look abroad to the old masters, we find the most eminent amongst them were those who flourished antecedent to such establishments. The president must have seen a new light since those days, although little or no alteration has been made in the exhibitions.

The petition asserted, that The members of the Royal Academy have zealously supported, for two-thirds of a century, the only regular, effective, or national school of art in this kingdom, comprising separate accommodations for the study of the antique, the living model, and the works of the old masters in the school of painting; all under the superintendence of the ablest professors. In this assertion of exclusive merit, the royal academicians had quite forgot the Dublin Academy, where their president received his instruction, and that of Edinburgh, that claimed Allan, Wilkie, and Burnet; and they also had forgot those schools, which, before the foundation of the Royal Academy, were attended by Hogarth, Reynolds, Gainsborough, Barry, Nollekins, Banks, Flaxman, &c., the Chartered Society, the Richmond Gallery, and the Society of Arts. In fact, Mr. Martin Shee, of 1809, gives the best answer to the President Sir Martin Shoe in 1839. They have instituted," say the academicians, "professorships for gratuitous lectures in painting, sculpture, architecture, perspective, and anatomy. Their returns would show, that although the sum of 10l. was paid for each lecture delivered, the average aggregate number delivered annually in every department was under nineteen. Not one had been given on the important science of perspective for eleven years. No instruction had ever been attempted in history, chemistry, or botany; but useless honorary professors of history and antiquities figured in front of the annual catalogue of the exhibition; a singular proof of the ideas of the Royal Academicians, of the importance of such knowledge. No lectures on architecture had been given for many years, and to prove the inutility of such lectures, a superannuated absentee, Mr. Wilkins, had been lately elected to the professorship of architecture within the last two years. But the academician petition went further— They have established an annual exhibition, to which all artists, without distinction, are allowed to send their works. If hon. Members referred to the evidence of the president and the secretary of the Academy before the Committee on Arts, they would find, that so far from artists exhibiting with them on equal terms, and without distinction, that the academicians had every advantage of best places, of having their own works put up to advantage by a committee of their own body, and, after they had been so favoured, they took three or four days to paint and varnish them up, to the injury of the other six hundred artists, whose works were thus exposed to injurious contrast and bad places; whilst the unprivileged producers of those works were entirely excluded from all inspection and control of the exhibition of their own pictures; the great dinner also and private view, at which the fate of artists for the season was decided, being strictly limited to the academicians and their patrons. But it would answer every purpose to refer again to Sir Martin Shee's own words when he was not President, for a description of the scene;— Two hostile generals cannot manœuvre with more dexterity to gain an advantageous position than two rival painters to secure the most conspicuous places in an exhibition room. But it is among those on whom the privilege of office confers the power of choice, that this evil effect is sometimes most strikingly apparent. To have the interest of our rivals in our hands, and hold the means to injure or to serve, affords an opportunity which generosity will accept for its honour, selfishness for its advantage, and malevolence will seize for its gratification. So much for the opportunity which malevolence may exercise against a rival artist. Their resolute maintenance of their exclusive right to paint up and varnish their works after the arrangement of place was made, was quite enough to determine whether selfishness or generosity prevailed among those "on whom the privilege of office confers the power."

In their petition the academicians went on to allege, that They have instituted prizes in the different schools, to stimulate the industry and excite the emulation of the students. They have accumulated a valuable collection of casts, prints, and books, and provided every material and means of study necessary or expedient for the cultivation of the pursuits of taste. If such has been the case to any creditable or very useful extent, there could be no objection to their giving returns of the prizes bestowed, with the names of successful candidates, and of the amount spent on casts, prints, books, or materials of study, &c. Returns which had been called for would be better than general assertions: but there was reason to suppose that the amount thus expended had been very trifling; for instance, the 'valuable collection of casts' now in the Academy, consisted, as he had been informed, principally of those obtained from the chartered Society of Artists, or were given in trust to them by George 4th, who received them from the Pope.

The president and council went on further to say that They have gratuitously educated, according to the best principles of the art, nearly two thousand students, the most promising of whom have been enabled to pursue their studies in the schools of Italy at the expense of the Royal Academy, and the least successful of whom have been instructed in those acquirements which might qualify them to become useful agents of manufacturing and mechanical improvement. He had already stated, that out of 2,000 pupils which the Academy had had in 68 years, only 15 had been sent abroad at the expense of the Academy: he would now give the names of the students, so maintained at Rome by the Royal Academy of Arts, since its commencement, was somewhat curious.

Sent out in Expence of each.
1771 Mauritius Lowe, painter £150 0 0
1772 Thomas Banks, sculptor 240 0 0
1777 John Soane, architect 240 0 0
1781 Charles Grignon, painter 240 0 0
1785 Charles Rossi, sculptor 240 0 0
John Deane, sculptor 240 0 0
1790 George Hadfield, architect 240 0 0
1795 William Arland, painter 240 0 0
Total Expenditure in 27 years £1,830 0 0
At this period all intercourse with the continent being stopped, the maintenance of a student abroad was necessarily discontinued for more than twenty years, during which time an addition of 50 guineas, with other advantages, were made to each of the first premiums in painting, sculpture, and architecture. After the Peace there were—
Sent out in Expense.
1818 Lewis Vulliamy, architect £470 0 0
1821 Joseph Severn, painter 470 0 0
1825 William, Scoular, sculptor 470 0 0
1828 Samuel Loat, architect 470 0 0
1831 George Smith, painter 470 0 0
1835 E. G. Papworth, sculptor 326 14 0
1837 John Johnson, architect, now abroad 80 0 0
Total in 19 years £2,756 14 0
Total in 67 years £4,586 14 0
The term allowed to each student is three years. Occasional suspensions have occurred. The pension has varied at different periods, and is now 100l. per annum, with an allowance of 60l. for the journey out and home. Such are the great doings of the academy for the support of the most promising of the 2,000 students, or one in every 133 of that number.

And here he must again refer to Sir Martin Shee, their president, for his opinion of the quality of the instruction given at the academy. In his "Elements of Art,' he said,— There is perhaps no civilized people of modern Europe amongst whom the principles of taste have been less generally diffused than among us. And again, The prevalence of portrait painting appears to have considerable influence in producing general inattention to the merits of design. And further, And the author fears that the course of study pursued in the Royal Academy is not pursued with sufficient vigour to counteract the evil. The students of that establishment are perhaps not enough impressed with the importance of a study, the traces of which do not appear to be particularly striking in the productions of those to whom they must look as their guide and example. If he added to these extracts the opinions of the present President on the ignorance of the academicians respecting anatomy and architecture, and still more their neglect of perspective, the institution might be safely designated on his authority as most inefficient for the promotion of the fine arts; but nothing could more clearly explain the delusion of these pretended services than the statement he had already given of the number and expense of the students sent by the society to Rome. Were this a private institution, receiving no assistance from the public; he would not ask for any returns, although even then Parliament might institute an inquiry into the state of the arts, and might call the members, as it might call any other body of men before them. But, when the Academy was receiving between 2,000l. and 3,000l., or to that value of public money, he did urge on the House to enforce the return. All the returns asked for by his motion from the Royal Academy had been furnished to the Committee in 1836 by every academy on the continent. He would now notice the petition from Messrs. George Rennie, E. T. Paris, John Martin, George Clint, F. Y. Thurlstone, James Holmes, and George Foggo, presented on 16th July, in which it was stated— That your petitioners are surprised to learn that the royal academicians, located in a public building, and enjoying especial advantages and privileges from the Crown, after declaring that 'they can have no possible objection to make any return that may be required of them,' should now claim to be absolved from the order of your honourable House of the 14th of March. That the accumulated fund of the Royal Academy, which, in 1836, amounted to 47,000l., is, in consequence of their occupancy of a conspicuous national edifice, rapidly increasing; and, with it an extension of influence fatal to that competition that should be maintained with other societies; and your petitioners humbly submit, that information on the management of the fine arts is at this moment highly important; that her Majesty's ambassadors have readily procured ample returns from the various schools in France, Prussia, Belgium, Bavaria, Wurtem- berg, &c.; that all are anxious to explain their peculiar merits by reference to the financial and other statistics of their institutions, except the Royal Academy of London, which alone claims the peculiar distinction of being secret and irresponsible. As the honour of the country, as well as the interests of art, are involved, your petitioners humbly pray your honourable House to take into serious consideration the importance of a full and complete explanation of the management of the fine arts in this country, in continuation of the returns and evidence already printed, and for that purpose to confirm the order which, in its wisdom, it made on the 14th of March. And in the petition of Mr. Benjamin Robert Hayden, a gentleman whose works in the historical department of art were entitled to general praise,—presented on the 17th July, he represented— That your petitioner appeals to your honourable House that it is incumbent on the Royal Academy, as highly favoured by the Sovereign and by the public, more especially since their income has been, as your petitioner believes, increased by occupying a part of the National Gallery in Trafalgar-square, to lay before your honourable House every detail required by your honourable House; and your petitioner submits that the desire to conceal the information from the public is an additional proof, among many others in the history of all academies, of that narrow spirit which has rendered them in every part of Europe failures as to fostering genius, or realising in any way the noble objects the founders and supporters had in establishing them. That it is a known fact, that academies have ever given more consequence to men of humble ability, than distinction to men of great genius. That such is the opinion of Professor Waagen, the director of the Royal Gallery at Berlin, in his evidence before a committee of your honourable House; and Sir Martin Archer Shee has stated, that in this country it must be acknowledged that the greatest painters have not been the fruit of this tree. 'Reynolds,' says he, 'West, Barry, Hogarth, Wilson, Gainsborough, were ripe in fame and merit, before it can be said to have been planted among us; and, if we look abroad to the old masters, we find the most eminent amongst them were those who flourished antecedent to such establishments. There were many other statements of importance in that and in the other petitions; but, as they were printed and in the hands of honourable Members, he would not make more extracts from them. In 1834 returns, which he held in his hand, were made by the Academy to the order of the House; in 1836 they also made returns, when called before the Committee, which had been appointed to inquire into arts and manufactures; and the whole object of his present motion was to have a continuation of those returns. He (Mr. Hume) had been attacked, in no measured terms, in pamphlets published in the last two years, by Sir Martin Shee, for the part he had taken to procure free access for the public to the exhibition one day in the week; and he regretted that course had not been adopted. In the letter of the president of the Royal Academy, printed and addressed to him (Mr. Hume), some personalities were indulged in with respect to himself, but he had treated them with that contempt they deserved, as he often found that when argument was wanting, resort was had to abuse; he would, however, pass over those expressions. (Sir R. Inglis: "Read.") Well, he would read. Sir Martin said that,— Notwithstanding the dilettanti drilling which he (Mr. Hume) had received, he had not been sufficiently enlightened on this subject; that the fine arts did not seem his forte—that his sensibilities were not exquisitely acute—that in matters of taste he was not much of a critic—that he had indulged in coarse invective against the Royal Academy—and had shown more of personal enmity and rancorous virulence than of a liberal desire for the prosperity of the arts. Sir Martin Shee and his colleagues persisted in denying that the academy received a shilling from the public, and therefore they refused to comply with the order of the House to make the returns. Now he (Mr. Hume) repeated what he had often said, that the grant of a magnificent public building was equivalent to a considerable grant of public money. He could form his own conclusion of the service of which the academy had been to the arts, and would hereafter state them, but he submitted that the returns ought to be laid before the House, that every Member might draw his own conclusions; with confidence, therefore, he submitted his present motion to the House.

Sir H. Inglis

rose to move, as an amendment, that the original order of this House directed to the Royal Academy be discharged. He rejoiced, that this question had at length come to a regular issue. The burning zeal of the hon. Member for Kilkenny in defence of the arts had indeed induced him at different times to anticipate this discussion on occasions which none but himself could have considered fitting for it. Once he discounted his present speech in a committee of supply, when the motion before the chair was, that 80,000l. should be granted for the Parliamentary road to Holyhead. On another occasion he introduced the same speech, somewhat less inappropriately, on a motion for the repairs of Hampton Court Palace. In reference to that last occasion, he (Sir R. Inglis) might be allowed to complain, that the hon. Gentleman, after having repeated his own notice for a specific discussion, to which notice, as he knew, his amendment followed as a matter of course, should in his absence have endeavoured to make his present charges against the Royal Academy. Happily his hon. Friend and colleague (Mr. Estcourt) was present, and to him he was indebted for the defence which he made on that occasion. There were two courses open to the hon. Member. He might either have said, that the House of Commons had a right to demand what information it pleased from any man or body of men in the country, or that, at any rate, the House of Commons had this right in respect to the Royal Academy, in consequence of certain definite support allotted to it by the nation. This was the safer course; but the hon. Gentleman rushed blindly on the bolder course, and distinctly claimed for this House the right to inquire into the concerns of all the men or bodies of men in England; and to call all men to that bar to answer accordingly. He may call them; but is he sure "that they will come when he doth call them." Every one does not consider him a conjuror; and at all events in this instance he, like the elder conjuror, will find, that they will not come at his bidding. Let it be recollected, that this calling is of no avail, unless the House be prepared to enforce it? and let the House calculate well how it can and will enforce it, and what consequences will follow even from success, and let the hon. Member himself consider whether he be not engaging in a contest, from which, as from another contest of late, this House will gain neither new dignity nor new power. Let him be well persuaded, that these contests are desired by none but those who are the enemies of the real privileges of Parliament. The hon. Gentleman, however, persists in his motion. If his principle be correct, he can make a similar motion against any other body of men in England, nay more, against any individual, against any Member of the other House of Parliament. Is this House prepared to sanction a proposition so extravagant. But, said the hon. Member, how unreasonable and capricious are the Royal Academy. "First, there was no objection made to these returns when I moved for them; and, secondly, they are only a continuation of those which the Academy had previously furnished." On the first point, when the motion was made, after certain returns had been ordered from the School of Design, he himself (Sir R. Inglis)—it was at half-past one in the morning—asked whether the hon. Member had the sanction of the Royal Academy, and he was answered, that he need not make himself uneasy, for that the papers required were only in continuation of information already furnished to the Committee of the Fine Arts, by the President of the Academy. After this declaration he did not oppose the order. But what, on the second point, is the fact? Why, that the returns are not in continuation of any returns ever before furnished; but that, whereas those returns gave a list of the number of students, pictures, &c. these returns require the minutest account of the income and expenditure of the body in question. It cannot be said, therefore, with any correctness, that any precedent had been given for the order thus obtained, and which by his amendment he now desired to discharge. If the House had contributed towards the support of the Academy by any direct pecuniary grant he could understand how the House could call upon the academy for an account of the expenditure of such grant, but no grant had ever been made. But the hon. Member for Kilkenny argued, that if they did not have it in malt they had it in meal—that if they did not have it in money they had it in money's worth. When the Academy was first founded under the direction of Sir William Chambers, on his secession from the United Society of Artists, the King took the new body under his patronage. Did the hon. Member contend, that the King's patronage gave the House the right to interfere? The King afterwards made grants to the Academy out of his privy purse—did such grants give the right? Then the King placed it in the rooms of his own palace of old Somerset house—did that give Parliament a right of interference? When old Somerset-house was pulled clown, the King stipulated, that provision should be made for his Academy in the new building. Was that a stipulation so made on the part of the King, which gave this House the right which they now claim to interfere in the concerns of the Royal Academy. He had reason to believe, that this stipulation on the part of the King entered directly into the consideration of the terms upon which the old palace was made over to the nation. The society continued in possession of the new building for nearly sixty years, and did any inquiry take place during that time? It was stated by the noble Lord, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, in the Treasury minute of the 7th May, 1834, that the Academy would have the same title and the same tenure of its new habitation as it had of Somerset-house, that its title would neither be improved nor weakened in any respect. He said, that the title of the Academy to Somerset-house was the same as to old Somerset-palace. But it had been said, that there was a time when the Academy was amenable to law. What was meant by that? Why, that in 1834 the Academy had made certain returns to the House, and in 1835 the secretary had been examined before the Committee of Arts and Science. That, however, was not to be brought forward as an argument against them, unless the House proved it right to make the inquiry; for the concession of the Academy in making the returns to which he had just referred might have been imprudent. The returns now moved for, he must also remark, were far more minute than, and were essentially different from those which had been placed before the committee. With respect to the apartments now held by the society, the Sovereign himself had placed the key of them in the hands of the president; and yet it had been said, that the society were interlopers in the new building. But were they, he would ask, tenants without rent to the Crown and people of England? So far to the contrary, indeed, the Royal Academy had expended on objects so purely national, that if not defrayed by them it would have been a disgrace to the nation, not to themselves, for not taking it upon them, a sum of not less than 300,000l. That money had not gone into the pockets of the academicians, and even its bitterest enemy had never impeached its integrity in that respect. Other societies divided amongst themselves the money they received, but that was not the case with the academicians. He did not grudge the largeness, but rather complained of the smallness of the sum that was given to the school of design, and fully admitted the great merit of the person who was at the head of that establishment; but the salary of that Gentleman was three times larger than that of any officer of the Academy. As to the professors too, they received nothing unless they lectured; the professorships were, in fact, only honorary distinctions to eminent men. It had been said, that the Academy acted as a blight upon the arts; but he would call on any one to state the names of any distinguished artist since the Academy had been formed who had not either been a member of that body, or who had not voluntarily declined that honour. The hon. Member had made it a matter of complaint, that the Royal Academy had expended 19,000l. in dinners, and one of the parties examined before the committee had complained, that they were not allowed the privilege of consorting with the Academy on those occasions; and this had been gravely inserted in the report of the committee. But who paid for these dinners? Did Parliament? Did the hon. Member contribute, except by his own solitary shilling at the door of the exhibition? The Academy devoted their funds to other purposes besides dinners. There was no other similar institution in Europe that was not supported by the State; but the richest state in Europe did not contribute to its Royal Academy so much as one prince, the King of Bavaria, gave for the promotion of the arts in his own country. The Academy was supported by the hard-earned rewards of its own members, aided by the contributions of artists associated with them. The walls of the building were open to the reception of pictures by the artists of every country, and 600 artists exhibited their works last year. Was this monopoly? No; "but," said the hon. Member, "they select the best places for themselves." He trusted to the eyes of those who saw the exhibition for a refutation of this statement. Mr. Leslie and Sir Martin Shee, when, on different occasions, members of the hanging committee, had declined to exhibit at all. He had heard in an audible whisper from the hon. Member, that Sir Martin Shee had begun the attack upon him. But from the very first page of the letter to which the hon. Member had referred, he found that the hon. Member had, in December 1837, described the Academy as "the meanest and most stingy of all institutions." [Mr. Hume: That was not an attack on Sir Martin Shee.] It was not indeed an attack upon Sir Martin Shee; but it was an attack upon the institution of which he was the bounden defender, as well as one of the chief ornaments. He believed, that it was an axiom of that House, that inquiry followed a grant of money; but the Academy had had no money, and, therefore, could not be required to make any such return. Unless this principle of inquiry was limited in some manner, there was no knowing what might not be made "amenable to law," as the phrase was. Was the hon. Member prepared to state any limits to his calls [Mr. Hume: Yes.] Was the hon. Member prepared to make a similar call on all exhibitions? Then he would recommend him to call for a return from the Pantechnicon. Well, then, his favourite Society of British Artists. The Athenæum, like the Royal Academy, was built on Crown land; why not have a return from thence? He (Sir R. Inglis) admitted that there was no grant to friendly societies, and yet returns were required from them; but Parliament granted them legal security, on certain conditions, and this created a distinction. He knew of no other instance of inquiry where Parliament had not granted money. The hon. Member had urged, in support of the right of inquiry, that he had obtained a return of the tenants of royal palaces. If so it was one of those returns that ought not to have been made. The hon. Member for Bridport was a member of the Geological and Royal Societies; was he prepared to bring their accounts before the House? Yet they, like the Royal Academy, possessed apartments in a building which the hon. Member would call national, and paid no rent for it. Although the Royal Academy had not made a repayment to the State in money they had made it in other ways; they had educated 2,000 pupils at their own expense; their lectures were gratuitous, and they afforded an exhibition gratuitously for artists, in an excellent central situation, which constituted the great school of England; and so far from there being a monopoly, the exhibition was open to all, English and foreigners, without any unfairness. Then, as to the dignity of the House; was the Royal Academy, it was asked, to set at nought the order of the House of Commons? In Speaker Onslow's time, the Speaker had intimated to an hon. Member, that if he persevered in a certain course he must "name him." The Member afterwards inquired what would have been the consequence if he had named him? The Speaker replied, "Heaven knows; I do not." Now what would be the consequence of the Academy's refusing obedience to a piece of paper signed "J. H. Ley, Cl. Dom. Com.?" Was such a piece of paper to be raised to the head, or received with nine prostrations, or treated like a magic spell? Was the House prepared, if the return was delayed, to go to the full extent? It had got into one difficulty about privilege, and if this order were enforced it might get into another. In the case of Samuel Wells, the House had already during this Session made an ill-advised order; and rescinded it. In this instance also the House had made an ill advised order; and he called on them to rescind it. Was the House of Commons the only body that was incapable of error? In the case of patents, when any one of them, though granted by the Crown, is impeached, is there not a legal process to get rid of it quia improvide emanavit? He regretted to find, that no Member of her Majesty's Government had been present during this discussion. Yes, there was one present. He should not enter into the question whether there was an adequate representation of the Government on this occasion. It was worthy of remark, however, that during the division which preceded this motion not a single Member of the Government was present. However the Home might proceed in this matter, he could assure hon. Members that their order, if they attempted to enforce it would be disobeyed. The House has asked for a return which it is not entitled to require, or able to enforce. The duty of inquiry may extend to all cases, where the donations of this House may extend; and every man, and every body of men, receiving salary from this House, may receive such salaries subject to such accountability. The right to inquire may go further: it may go to cases where Parliament has given to the operations of an association powers and securities which a purely voluntary meeting could not exercise; but when this House does not give the public money, and where Parliament does not give public powers, this House has no right to inquire into the expenditure of money, or the exercise of power.

Mr. P. Howard

seconded the amendment. He was not prepared to deny the right of the House to call for this return, but he thought that that right ought not to be exercised in an inquisitorial manner. The Royal Academy had by its exertions already produced most excellent effects; but he thought that its character would receive additional credit if, after having received all the pecuniary benefit likely to be procured, it were to throw open the doors of the exhibition to the public.

Mr. Hawes

entirely concurred in the view taken of the subject by the hon. Baronet, and differed from his hon. Friend the Member for Kilkenny, who, in his opinion, had not made out a case for insisting that the order for those returns should be enforced. If there had been a bonâ fide grant of public money received by the Royal Academy, then, he admitted it would be right that the House should know what had been done with it. But no such grant of money had been made to the Royal Academy, and the House ought not to forget that their occupation of their former apartments in Somerset-house had been founded on a direct personal grant from the favour of the Crown, and that they now were in possession of their apartments in the National Gallery as an equivalent on being removed from their original premises. Similar establishments on the Continent were entirely dependent for support on the bounty of the Crown, to whom they were of course obsequious, as the source from which their subsistence was derived; but that was not the case with the Royal Academy, which had done great credit to the national taste, and encouraged the study of the fine arts in this country in the most efficicient and liberal spirit. It was too much, because they had given half-a-dozen paltry rooms to the Royal Academy, to found a claim on that ground to insist on an account of the receipts and expenditure of that institution, consisting of funds raised by the skill, acquirements, genius, and industry of the artists themselves. Allusion had been made by his hon. Friend to Hampton-court Palace, and the argument was raised that because Hampton-court Palace was thrown open, so also should the Royal Academy. Why Hampton-court was public property, and an annual vote taken in Parliament for its maintenance. He did not undervalue the exertions of the hon. Member for Kilkenny for improving the knowledge of the people, but he could not support him in those exertions to the prejudice of private rights, and to the rights of meritorious men who had received a small boon from the country, but who in the services they had rendered to the arts had repaid that boon a hundred fold.

Mr. Warburton

contended that it was reasonable that the Royal Academy should render the accounts called for by the order of the House. He thought they were bound to do so in return for what the public had given them—the occupancy of apartments in the National Gallery—not paltry rooms, as they had been termed by his hon. Friend the Member for Lambeth, although certainly they were not what they ought to be in justice to the country; but they had cost the public more than 40,000l. The Royal Academy were, therefore, receiving from the public accommodation to the extent of 3,000l. a-year. The hon. Baronet said, that in consequence of the grant from George 3rd., they held their occupancy independently of the Commons House of Parliament, whether the opinion of the House was favourable to their conduct or the reverse. According to that doctrine, any one getting leave of occupancy from the Crown would be immoveable, and the greatest public inconvenience might be suffered. It was evident that no such right belonged to the Royal Academy, because on the discussion of the grant of money for building the National Gallery, he (Mr. Warburton) had asked the question of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the other rooms that might not be required for the purposes of exhibition would be accessible to the public for any addition that might be made for the purposes of art. The Chancellor of the Exchequer distinctly answered in the affirmative, and the right hon. Gentleman repeated that assurance the other night, when this subject was under consideration. He agreed that such institutions ought not to be needlessly harrassed by demands for producing their accounts. But he was of opinion that his hon. Friend had stated good grounds why the Royal Academy should produce the statement which had been called for. The information wanted was what return the public received for the occupation of their premises, and whether the academy expended their income in a manner advantageous to the public. And if that information were refused, or not satisfactory, then the question would come whether they should be allowed to continue in the occupancy of those apartments. Be regretted much, that the Academy had not attended to the recommendation which had been made to them although not pressed when the question was formerly discussed, from both sides of the House. If he were an enemy of of the Academy, he would wish them to persist in such a course, and he would ask the hon. Baronet to continue his opposition to the motion of his hon. Friend. All the allegations relative to the number of artists sent to study at Rome, and all the other statements of the Academy, his hon. Friend had successfully impugned, and the proceedings of the Royal Academy had thus been exposed to public view, instead of being allowed to pass sub silentio as would have been the case had not this injudicious opposition been made to the production of the returns. He was certain that throwing open the annual exhibition to the public for a limited time at the close of the Session would be beneficial to the Academy. What was its aim and object, except to encourage and foster a taste for the fine arts. And would not such a course, then, be in unison with the object for which the Academy was established? Nothing in his opinion, could be more fatal to the future prosperity of the Academy than that the motion of his hon. Friend should be defeated and that the hon. Baronet should be triumphant.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said, there were three points involved in the present discussion. The first was that connected with the authority of the House the next related to the progress of the fine arts in this country; and the last, which he also regarded as one of great importance, was the welfare of the Royal Academy itself. These three points were by no means irreconcileable; on the contrary they were perfectly consistent with one another. The petition did not deny the authority of the House, but merely appealed to its discretion. He thought it was not a favourable way of putting the case of the Academy to say, as he had understood been said in the course of the debate, that the members of the Academy would rather go to Newgate, than submit to the order of the House. He could not conceive any doctrine more subversive of the authority of the House, than that which maintained that the Academy had a right to resist the order which had been agreed to. How the House ought to exercise its discretion was one question, but the right of the House to interfere, was altogether a different one, and ought not to be suffered to be compromised in this discussion or any other. If the public interest was involved in the conduct of the Royal Academy, the public and the House had a right to inquire into everything connected with that institution. But the question of the authority of the House, was not involved in this question, and was not raised by the petition of the Royal Academy. It was unnecessary to discuss now the importance of the fine arts to a country like this, for he had always found on the part of the House the greatest willingness not only to second, but to outrun any project of the Government for the advancement of them. With respect to the way in which this motion would affect the interests of the Royal Academy, no one could think that an unimportant question who looked at the great names which had cast a lustre upon that institution. But he could not tell how the present contest had arisen. Upon what possible gronnd it could eppear necessary to any member of the Royal Academy, to refuse giving to the public any information respecting its proceedings, was to him a mystery passing all understanding. His conviction was, that the more fully the accounts of the Academy were submitted to public investigation, the better the public would be satisfied with its conduct. He was sure, that this appeal to suspend the operation of the order of the House would be liable to be misinterpreted, and to be attributed to a feeling, that there was something which it was wished to keep back. He was convinced, that there was nothing in the proceedings of the Academy which it was its interest to conceal, but that those proceedings had been conducted with credit to the Academy, and advantage to the country. There was another consideration which had been adverted to, and which related to the transaction between Parliament and the Royal Academy concerning the possession of the building lately erected at the public expense. The Royal Academy held their apartments in this building by exactly the same title as that under which they had occupied their former apartments in Somerset House. When he first proposed to the House the arrangement under which the Royal Academy occupied their present rooms, he stated, that he anticipated the time might come when the country would be rich enough to enlarge the National Gallery to such an extent as to require for it the part of the building which it was proposed to concede for a time to the Royal Aca demy. It was upon that distinct impression that Parliament had voted the money for building the National Gallery, and upon that contract, the Academy were in possession of those apartments. But no one, surely, would say, that if it were necessary to dispossess the Royal Academy of those apartments, they should, therefore, be left without a habitation in which to continue its useful labours. He thought on the contrary, that when that day should come, that the House of Commons would not hesitate to provide other accommodation for the Academy. He, therefore, said, let the Royal Academy put themselves right with the public by not raising points of contest upon a question of this kind. Let them supply the required information, in the full confidence that it would conduce to their own credit, as he was convinced it would. Upon these grounds, the motion having been made, he would support it, although if it were still to be brought forward he would beg of his hon. Friend, as he had done before, not to introduce it. But he was convinced that the best friends of the Academy were those who should press upon them the expediency, if not the necessity, of obeying the motion now that it had been made.

Sir R. Peel

could not concur with any hon. Member in denying the right of the House of Commons to call for this information. He should be sorry to limit the jurisdiction of the House with respect to public institutions, even where none of the public money was received; but he would draw a clear distinction between all commercial societies, and all societies connected with the acquisition of gain, and institutions intended for the promotion of public objects. He, however, would not limit the right of the House of Commons to inquire into those institutions, even though they did not receive any of the public money; and in the case of the Royal Academy, their being accommodated with apartments at the public expense did, in his opinion, add to the right of the House of Commons to call for returns. But the question now was as to the discretion of exercising that right. He perfetly admitted the right, but he could easily conceive it expedient to exercise it; he could easily conceive that it might have a tendency to impair the usefulness of the society, and derogate from the efficient position in which it stood with respect to the arts. He was quite sure that no institution like the Royal Academy could exist without giving great offence to many individuals. Artists were not less liable to little jealousies than any other class of persons. Some who found their pictures at the exhibition in a position unsuited, in their minds, to their real merits, had gone so far as to suppose that a conspiracy had been formed against them for the purpose of oppressing them, and he could not say how far individual artists, jealous of this society, might prevail upon Members of Parliament to exercise the privilege of calling for returns for the purpose of a vexatious inquiry. The exercise of that inquisitorial power should not depend upon a single Member, but upon the House, and he considered the question to be as perfectly open and unfettered as if the order of the 14th of March had not been agreed to. The Chancellor of the Exchequer did not think there was any necessity for these returns, and therefore the policy of exercising their right to enforce them must still be a question. If they had been betrayed into an inconsiderate order, it was perfectly open to them to rescind or to enforce that order. The hon. Member for Kilkenny moved for and procured the order at half-past one o'clock in the morning, when if the attention of hon. Members in question had been much called to it, their jealousy would have been entirely lulled by the words which were appended to the hon Member's notice. After naming the return, he added, that it was "in continuation of accounts of the President and Secretary of the Royal Academy in July, 1836." The hon. Member said, they were returns in continuation of old returns; no one thought, any more about it; there being a precedent, as was supposed, no one objected to the motion. But could any man have supposed, when the hon. Member moved for returns "in continuation of accounts of the President and Secretary," that they had not furnished returns analogous to those moved for? Were not those words sufficient to lull the suspicion of any hon. Member? Therefore, the hon. Member for Kilkenny, in adding them to his notice—not perhaps with any disingenuous intention, although a more apparently disingenuous appendix to a motion he had never seen—had led hon. Members and the House astray. The right hon. Gen- tleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had said, that the day might come, and had expressed a hope that it would, when the whole of the National Gallery would be required for the use of the public, and when they must provide accommodation elsewhere for the Royal Academy. He did hope to see the day when this country would be rich enough to build fortiself a depository for the arts worthy of the British nation. He did hope to see the day when, in the most favoured part of Hyde-park, he should witness the erection of a magnificent building devoted to works of art, not for the accommodation of the sovereign, but for the accommodation and delight of the universal people of this country, for their amusement, for their intellectual refinement, and for their improvement in the arts generally. Then they would be able to give up the remainder of the present building to the Royal Academy, and they would not be ashamed to take the foreigner coming from Munich, adorned as that city was with beautiful structures of art, by means of a sum which was not one five-hundredth part of our revenue, into the National Gallery of Great Britain, supposing it to be the magnificent edifice which he hoped to see erected. The country, however, should have a Post-office indulgence first. With regard to those returns, he was perfectly certain that the Academy did not refuse them from the slightest apprehension as to the result of the fullest disclosure, but because they were afraid of establishing a precedent which might lead to a constant interference and meddling with their affairs. The hon. Member for Kilkenny, in alluding to the item of dinners, had stated that they had expended 20,000l., but it appeared that that was the total expense for the dinners which had been given by the Academy for the last 60 years, the expense of a single dinner beig but 240l. or 300l. Inquiry had taken place in the year 1836, and if that inquiry were to be continued or renewed upon the suggestion of every individual Member of that House, then would the efficiency of the Royal Academy be greatly and seriously impaired. At the same time, if any Parliamentary case were made out, if any ground of suspicion were established, that the funds of the Academy were abused or lavishly expended, then he would consent to an inquiry, notwithstanding that inquiry had taken place as recently as the year 1836. But how, he would ask, had the Royal Academy been lavish of expenditure? Was it in the awarding of salaries to public officers? Let the House see Their income was about 5,000l. a-year, derived from the receipt of shillings paid by visitors to the exhibition, and about 47,000l. in the public funds, over which, be it observed, they had absolute control. Indeed, he believed they could, if they wished to exercise their extreme right, divide the profits amongst them. And yet, be was convinced, there never was a set of men who came before that House with cleaner hands, or who had been more scrupulous, not only in the distribution of money, but of patronage, than the Royal Academy. Even in the case of their public dinner they had not the privilege—no, not even the president himself—of inviting their private friends, but decided who should be invited by the operation of the ballot. From their list of salaries the Treasury itself might take a lesson. The president had nothing, although he sacrificed hundreds, perhaps thousands, in relinquishing a portion of his professional labours in order to devote his attention to the institution. Such had been the case with Sir Thomas Lawrence, and such he believed to be the case with the gentleman who now filled that honourable post. Well, the keeper received 160l. a-year; the secretary 140l.; the treasurer 100l.; and the librarian, who attended three times a-week, 80l. a-year. The public dinners cost between 250l. and 300l. a-year. During sixty years they had expended 240,000l. in educating the artists of this country, and instituting the school of art, which the public had refused to institute. Mr. Howard, the secretary, had stated in evidence, that instead of dividing their profits as other societies and artists did, and were justified in doing, the members of the Royal Academy had for sixty years supported, without the slightest assistance from the nation, a national school of art in which the best artists had been reared, and which had given to the arts the importance which they possessed; and that that which was done in other countries by the Government had been done by them at an expense of 240,000l. Then with regard to the amount of money appropriated to purposes of charity, they had distributed 30,000l. in charity to distressed artists; only 11,106l. of which had been given amongst members of their own body. Did those facts establish any ground of complaint against the Royal Academy on the score of expenditure, or any reason for calling on them for the production of those returns which they felt an unwillingness to produce? It was said, they were more of an exclusive character, that they were self-elected. They were so, but he called upon the House to try the effect of that circumstance by its fruits. Some clever men might have quitted the Academy through infirmities of temper; and there might, perhaps, be others who did not belong to it, but let the House look to those who had been elected since the year 1810, and then say whether the Academy could be charged with any narrowness of intention, or whether they had preferred mediocrity to superior merit under the system of self-election? In the list of members elected since 1810, he found the names of Wilkie, Westmacott, Raeburn (a Scotch artist, who had been elected by the force of merit alone), Mulready, Jackson, Collins, Chantrey, Bailey, Wyatville, Etty, Constable, Landseer, Briggs, Stanfield, and Gibson. That list of names alone proved, that the institution had not been forgetful of the great trust which was committed to it, had fulfilled the object for which it was established, and had exercised its powers in a manner which every true friend to the arts could wish. Not denying the right of the House to interfere, but fearing the consequences of such interference, he should give his vote to rescind the order.

Mr. Ewart

contended, that the denial of these returns would serve to promote that interference which the right hon. Baronet so much deprecated. The real question before the House was, whether the Royal Academy was responsible or irresponsible to the House? This was not the first time the question had been raised. Four years ago he (Mr. Ewart) had brought forward the matter, and obtained a committee of inquiry. Before that committee the president of the Royal Academy was called, and there was great difficulty in getting him to answer any question. He maintained, that the House had as much right to call for returns from the Royal Academy, which conducted in rooms erected at the public expense, as it had to call for returns and informations form school houses built from funds granted by the public.

Mr. P. Thompson

could not bring himself to vote for the motion of the hon. Member for Kilkenny, and wished shortly to state the grounds on which he should give his vote. He confessed, had he been consulted, or if he had been a Royal academician, he should have advised the Royal Academy as a matter of prudence and propriety not to have refused these returns. He thought, the more the affairs of that body were known to the public, the more they would redound to their credit. At the same time, and without deciding at all the question of the right of the House to call for returns on good grounds being made out, he thought the hon. Member for Kilkenny had not either that night, nor when he moved for the returns, made out any case for their production. His (Mr. P. Thompson's) earnest desire was, that the Royal Academy should not refuse to give information, but at the same time he should be sorry if aid and protection were not given to a body which had been so eminently useful. Looking at the petition which had been presented, he was not surprised, that the body attacked by it should have some suspicion as to the motives of inquiries from such a quarter. And why interfere with them? What had the Royal Academy received from the Government, or the public, except the use of the set of apartments in which to exhibit their works and to carry on their business? And what did the Royal Academy do in return? It instructed pupils, it sent them abroad to cultivate and improve the arts, and the sums thus devoted by that body, were greater than even the pecuniary advantage from the use of the apartments which had been pointed out by the hon. Member for Bridport. In short, that body afforded the cheapest means by which to encourage the arts. He must, mention one circumstance which he thought redounded highly to the credit of that body. The House was aware, that by the liberality of Parliament, a school of design had been established on his motion at an expense of 1,500l. He had made the arrangements for that school, and in doing so had thought it advisable to obtain a council to conduct it, and to lay down rules and regulations for its guidance. With that view he applied to Royal Academicians—not to the President certainly, because he did not wish to bring them on as a body—but he had applied to Sir Francis Chantrey, to Mr. Eastlake, to Mr. Cockerell, and to Sir Augustus Calcott; and to those gentlemen was to be attributed the success of the establishment. He had also applied to other artists not of the body, but from them he had not received equal assistance. In short, without the assistance of the gentlemen he had named, he should have been deprived of the most valuable services which had been afforded to the institution. He quoted this circumstance to show the assistance which the Royal Academy had afforded to the advancement of art. He believed there was no public body or any institution so pure in principle, or which had more effectually answered its end, and seeing no public grounds laid for the motion, he should give his vote against it.

Mr. Wyse

observed, that the returns now sought were such as the House was entitled to from every public institution. Assuming the praises bestowed on the Academy to be perfectly just, he would say, that they formed excellent reasons, not against, but in favour of the motion which had been made by his hon. Friend the Member for Kilkenny, who wished to see the Royal Academy managed with that liberality which distinguished the institutions of the continent, and of which an example had been set even by the nations of antiquity—he wished to see that body throw open its doors with Athenian liberality; and he desired that the influence of the fine arts upon the public taste might be extended to the very humblest classes of the community.

Lord J. Russell

did not mean for a moment to deny that the House of Commons possessed a right to call for those returns; but another question presented itself—could they call for them upon such grounds as had on the present occasion been stated. They surely could not consider themselves bound by a motion made after an adjourned debate on the Cornlaws, at a tune when the subject met but little attention from the Members of that House. It could not be said, that the returns now demanded, ought to be conceded because they were in continuation of returns previously obtained. The Royal Academy stated, that the demand for these returns interrupted their pursuits, and was an unnecessary calling in question of their proceedings. The returns could not be demanded on the ground that hon. Members did really require any additional information, for the evidence of the President and the Secretary before the committee, furnished all the information which any such returns as were then moved for, could possibly supply. The hon. Member for Wigan had said, that on the continent the question had not only been discussed, but almost settled, that academies were rather injurious than advantageous to the interests of the fine arts; and the hon. Member for Waterford had contended, that the Academy should be opened to the public with Athenian liberality; but he presumed the House would think, that moving for such returns as these, was not the mode to effect that object. If the House thought proper, they might come to a resolution declaring, that the slight advantage which the Academy derived from the State, ought no longer to be continued; it would then be for the Academy to determine what course they might think proper to pursue. If the House intended to interfere for the purpose of putting an end to the income which the Academy derived from the exhibition of pictures, then it would be their duty to make provision for defraying those expenses, and for giving that encouragement and assistance to young artists which now devolved upon the Royal Academy. The academicians dispensed instruction, they promoted art, and they exercised charity. If Parliament deprived them of their income, Parliament should attend to those objects to which that income had heretofore been applied. Possibly it would be contended by the hon. Member for Waterford, that "Athenian liberality" did not extend to such objects, and possibly he did not exactly comprehend what was meant by "Athenian liberality;" but he readily admitted, that it might be quite right to take measures for improving the public taste in architecture, painting, and sculpture, but undue interference with the Academy, was clearly not calculated to promote those ends; to harass and vex the Academy by this species of inquisition was at once inexpedient and unjust. He hoped, that the House would not agree to the motion.

Mr. Hume

The noble Lord says he has not heard sufficient grounds for calling for the production of these returns; and when we consider that he was absent from the House during nearly the whole of the debate, that is not surprising; but what ar- gument has the noble Lord advanced why they should not be laid before the House? The noble Lord has said that I have already in the evidence of the President and Secretary of the Academy, all the information I can require. There the noble Lord is in error. I have the account to the year 1836, but I require a continuation of the same up to the year 1839. The right hon. the President of the Board of Trade, after declaring that he is ready to support the academicians in a course which he would not have advised on the score of prudence or propriety, has talked much of the exertions of the Academy in educating students, and in sending them to study at Rome. Is the right hon. Member aware that in the whole period of its existence the institution has sent to Rome only fifteen students of every kind, at an expense of between 4,000l. and 5,000l., whilst in the same time, the salaries of the academicians (as deduced from their own evidence,) amounted to 73,000l., their dinners to 19,500l., their pensions to 12,000l.; but if the Royal Academy has done so much, what right had the right hon. Gentleman to call upon the House to vote 1,500l. for establishing a school of design? And, on that point, I think there are strong objections to the manner in which that school of design has been carried out.

With respect to the form in which my motion for these returns was drawn up, I can assure the House that I was perfectly free from any intention of misleading. I moved for the continuation of the accounts furnished by the President and Secretary in 1836. I said nothing about former returns. Do hon. Members know no difference between the words accounts or statement, and returns; or do they hope to persuade the House that they see no difference. The right hon. Baronet opposite (Sir Robert Peel) was quite astonished at such a reference to an account contained in five or six pages of evidence. I quite agree with the right hon. Baronet that he is not accustomed to such a reference as mine, for I have actually mentioned the number of every question and answer referred to, but the right hon. Baronet has also referred to the same pages of evidence, and in doing so he has evinced no great knowledge of the subject. Does he really believe what he has quoted; that the acadamicians have spent on their schools 240,000l., besides 30,000l. in charity? However, as he also was absent from the debate, I must repeat what their expenses really have been, from an account derived from their own statements—

In salaries to the academicians £73,000
Their dinners 19,700
Their pensions. 12,000
Accumulated funds 52,000
Charities 19,800
For students at Rome 4,586
Expenses of the exhibition, about 36,000
And what does the right hon. Baronet suppose remains for the schools, independent of the academicians' salaries, out of an income of about 252,000l.? Surely not 240,000l., as stated by the right hon. Baronet, but only about 36,000l. What a very different story is here presented from that of the right hon. Gentleman, and the right hon. Baronet opposite, who has also said, that the academicians have a right to do as they please with the money which is the produce of the exhibition of their own works. Let us see how far this is the case? In the exhibition of this year there were 1390 works of art, by 704 exhibitors. Of these there where 25 academicians, who exhibited 112, and 18 associates who exhibited 69; the remaining 1,209, productions, or seven-eighths of the whole, were by 661 artists, who not only have neither control over the funds or participation in the management, but they are denied all knowledge of the proceedings of the academy. Is such a state of things right? Is not this a monopoly? My object is, information as to the proceedings of the Royal Academy up to the present time, in continuation of the statement they made in 1836; and I contend, that as a body enjoying public advantages, occupying apartments in a public building, they have a right to give such information when required. Let the academicians, if they think proper, give up the apartments that belong to the public, and declare themselves a private body, and I shall not ask for returns; but so long as they act as a public body, and claim to occupy apartments in a building erected and supported at the public expense, so long are they amenable to this House. I can draw my own conclusion from their refusal to give these returns, but I wish others to have an opportunity of judging of the proceedings of the Royal Academy, I therefore, in full confidence, call on the House to maintain its order of the 14th of March.

The House divided on the original motion—Ayes 33;Noes 38:—Majority 5.

List of the AYES.
Attwood, T. Parker, J.
Baring, F. T. Rice, right hon. T. S.
Bridgeman, H. Scholefield, J.
Brotherton, J. Stanley, hon. E. J.
Browne, R. D. Stock, Dr.
Ewart, W. Thornley, T.
Fielden, J. Turner, W. A.
Finch, F. Vigors, N. A.
Gordon, R. Villiers, hon. C. P.
Hope, H. T. Wakley, T.
Johnson, General Wallace, R.
Leader, J. T. Williams, W.
Lushington, C. Wood, Sir M.
Muskett, G. A. Worsley, Lord
Norreys, Sir D. J. Wyse, T.
O'Brien, W. S. TELLERS.
O'Connell, D. Hume, J.
O'Connell, J. Warburton, H.
List of the NOES.
Acland, Sir T. D. Palmer, G.
Acland, T. D. Palmerston, Viscount
Brocklehurst, J. Peel, right hon. Sir R.
Burrell, Sir C. Perceval, Colonel
Campbell, Sir J. Philips, M.
Cole, Lord Pigot, D. R.
Divett, E. Richards, R.
Douglas, Sir C. E. Russell, Lord J.
Fremantle, Sir T. Rutherford, rt. hn. A.
Gaskell, J. M. Sibthorp, Colonel
Gordon, hon. Captain Steuart, R.
Graham, rt. hn. Sir J. Thomson, rt. hn. C. P.
Grimsditch, T. Thompson, Alderman
Hastie, A. Waddington, H. S.
Holmes, W. Wilbraham, G.
Howard, P. H. Wilmot, Sir J. E.
Maule, hon. F. Wood, G. W.
Mildmay, P. St. John
Morpeth, Viscount TELLERS
Morris, D. Inglis, Sir R. H.
Oswald, J. Hawes, B.

Order discharged.