HC Deb 05 March 1845 vol 78 cc323-4
Mr. H. R. Yorke

begged to ask the Chief Commissioner of Woods and Forests, when the statements of the total estimated cost of the building of the New Houses of Parliament according to the latest plan approved, would be laid upon the Table? Also, whether the noble Lord would lay upon the Table of the House Mr. Barry's last half-yearly Report of the progress of the works to the Commissioners of Woods and Forests; and also, seeing the inconvenience of the present temporary arrangements, whether the New House of Commons would be ready for occupation at the commencement of 1847, the latest period alluded to in the Report of the Select Committee of last Session.

The Earl of Lincoln

hoped he should be able to relieve the hon. Gentleman's anxiety upon the subject of his first question. He (Lord Lincoln) had no reason to anticipate that the cost of the New Houses of Parliament would at all materially exceed the estimate. There would be a small excess, arising from two additions to the original plan, but not at all from any fault of the architect exceeding his original estimate. He should be prepared to lay on the Table of the House to-morrow a statement of the total cost of the two Houses of Parliament, by which it would appear that the small excess above the estimate mentioned last year was chiefly in consequence of two items which he would explain. The original estimated cost was 926,319l.; to that was now to be added the sum of 800l. for certain alterations in the Victoria Tower, and the sum of 1,794l. for the building of a residence for the Clerk of the Crown. So that the whole amount of the estimate would be but 928,913l. He would also lay on the Table to-morrow the halt-yearly Report of the architect, which was made up to the 28th of January. As to the third and last question, whether the New House of Commons would be prepared for their reception by the Session of 1847, he (the Earl of Lincoln) had to answer, that he had seen the architect this morning, who assured him that he saw no reason to withdraw the declaration which he had made last year, namely, that the New Houses would be ready in 1847.