HC Deb 27 July 1840 vol 55 cc1028-9

On the resolution for granting 5,000l., to complete the laying out of the area of Trafalgar-square,

Mr. Greene

said, that if the Nelson monument were left unfinished, it would be a most unsightly object, and he would, therefore, ask the right hon. Gentleman, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he could assure the House that he would see if sufficient money had been subscribed to complete the monument, with the ornaments, as they were originally represented to the Treasury?

Sir R. Inglis

begged to be allowed to interpose. If the right hon. Gentleman were called upon to answer the question upon his hon. Friend's statement of facts, he could only give one answer; if the column were left unfinished, he must answer that it would be an unsightly object. The Nelson committee, of which he had the honour to be a member, had entered into a contract for completing the whole of the column, with its capital and a statue at the top. They had in their hands more than sufficient for this purpose—whether they had enough for all that they would desire to do was another question. But there was no occasion to be uneasy as to the effect of the column when completed.

Mr. Gally Knight

said, that the Government did not appear to have informed themselves sufficiently as to the probability of the work being accomplished. The estimate was 28,000l., and that sum had not yet been subscribed. The great objection to the present vote was, that, after the Government had agreed to lay out 11,000l. for the improvement of the area of Trafalgar-square, the whole work would possibly be spoilt by an erection which the Government had sanctioned by the present arrangement.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

would not object to state that any report emanating from a committee of that House should receive his best attention; but at the same time he must observe that he had declared when the committee moved for by the hon. Member (Mr. Gaily Knight) was appointed, that the Government had pledged itself that the Crown would give the site, and that he would not be a party to the Crown withdrawing its grant of the site. The only objection, as it appeared to him, that could be made to the course taken by the Government, was, whether it had ascertained that all the subscriptions had been actually made. He could not concur in the opinion that this should have been required. Every one knew that in the case of such subscriptions as this they did not always have the whole amount of the money paid up at once, and he thought that it wag not when a monument was to be raised to one of our greatest and best heroes, that the Government should be asked to weigh closely every consideration; and he believed that when the proper time came, parties would not be found wanting to supply any deficiency in a fund collected for this noble purpose.

Resolution agreed to.