§ LORD H. VANE
begged to ask the hon. Member for Lancaster, whether it Was true that any extensive alterations were to be made in the structure and arrangement of the New House of Commons? He understood that it had lately been discovered that there would not be sufficient accommodation for the Members of the House, and 796 that the erection of a gallery had been necessitated—this gallery being placed in such a position as utterly to spoil the appearance and symmetry of the House. He wished to know by whose authority these alterations were being conducted—whether that authority was a due and sufficient one, and whether the arrangements being made were to be temporary or permanent?
replied that it had been discovered that the arrangement of the seats in six rows, on either side of the House, as originally intended, would not afford the necessary degree of accommodation to hon. Members. It had been thought necessary under these circumstances to reduce the number of benches on either side of the House to five; but, as the number of Members thereby accommodated would necessarily be reduced in the same proportion, it was determined that the large gallery at the end of the House should be appropriated to hon. Members, by which means a greater number would be accommodated than in the present House. An order had been given to that effect, and it was deemed desirable that temporary fittings-up should be arranged, rather than that the House should at once be placed upon a permanent footing, with permanent fittings, which, in case of their not being approved of, it would be a matter of great difficulty and expense to remove. The Commissioners had, therefore, directed the preparation of the temporary fittings, with the view of enabling hon. Members to occupy the New House for some few days during the present Session, and to judge of its convenience and fitness. The House would thus have an opportunity of deciding whether the chamber was suitable or not. If it came to the former decision, the temporary fittings could easily be made permanent; if it came to the latter, they could be speedily and cheaply removed.
§ LORD H. VANE
wished to know whether there had been an estimate framed of the expenses to be thus incurred, and if so, whether the architect would be bound by it?
The estimate for the temporary fittings-up—an estimate within which the architect was bound to keep—did not exceed 500l.
§ MR. GOULBURN
expressed a hope that when hon. Gentlemen asked questions upon this subject, they would not use terms the employment of which was not justified by the facts.
§ Subject dropped.