HC Deb 24 May 1850 vol 111 cc359-64

Motion made, and Question proposed— That a sum, not exceeding 18,093l. be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Expense of maintaining the several Public Buildings in the Department of the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland; also the Expense of Inland Navigation and other Services under the direction of the said Commissioners, to the 31st day of March, 1851.


called attention to the fact, that there was comprised under this vote one item of 12,000l. for the repair of the road from Holyhead to Shrewsbury. He could not understand on what pretext it could be justified that the cost of repairing the road in question should be charged upon the imperial resources of the country.


explained that the duty of keeping the road in repair devolved by Act of Parliament on the Commissioners; and, as they had no funds out of which to defray the expense of such an undertaking, they had no alternative but to apply to that House for an estimate.


thought that the sooner the Act was altered or repealed, the better it would be for the country. The road from Holyhead to Shrewsbury was not a national institution, and there was no sufficient reason, that he could sec, why the expense of keeping it in repair should be charged on the Imperial Exchequer.


concurred in this opinion. He could see no reason why the road in question should be treated differently from the Great Northern road, or any other highway in the country. The expense of repairing it ought to be defrayed from local charges.


explained. It was true that the road from Holyhead to Shrewsbury had ceased to be the main line of communication between Dublin and London, and he admitted it was objectionable that the expense of keeping it in repair should be defrayed out of the public funds. He would, therefore, direct his early attention to the matter, with a view to see whether it might not be possible to introduce some improved arrangement for the future; but in the mean time it was desirable that the present vote should be agreed to, in order that certain liabilities might be discharged which had been incurred under the Act.


wished to know what was to be done with Dublin Castle. He found that under the present vote was comprised an item of 4,000l. for the repairs of that building, and he certainly should like to know what it was intended to do with that venerable edifice. It was understood that the Phœnix-park was to be kept up for the service of the Queen, in the event of Her Majesty visiting Her Irish dominions; but what was to be done with Dublin Castle? Was it intended that the fourth Irish Secretary should reside there? He also wished to be enlightened as to the intentions of the Government with respect to the Royal Hospital at Kilmainham. He hoped there was no truth in the report that that institution, established in the reign of Charles II., for the relief of Irish pensioners, was to he broken up, and that the inmates were to be transferred to Chelsea.


replied, in reference to the first interrogatory of the hon. and gallant Gentleman, that no matter what might become of the Bill at present on the table of the House for the abolition of the Lord Lieutenancy, it was at all events certain that the Castle would be occupied during the present year, and that the House would have to defray the current expenses for the repairs of that building.


wanted to know if Dublin Castle could not be conveniently sold to the highest bidder?


looked on the item as an omen that Government were getting ashamed of their Bill; but if they meant to do away with the Lord Lieutenancy, why pay 452l. for Castle furniture in one year? Who was to make use of that furture?


said, he observed an item of 58l. for the repair of Irishtown church. The Protestant Church in Ireland had quite enough money to repair their own churches, and he should like some explanation of the item.


said, the building to which the hon. Member referred was a small church in one of the worst localities in Dublin. It was attended by the military in the neighbourhood, and the repairs had always been included in the estimates.


thought that was a very good reason why they should be included no longer. As it was a matter of principle, he would suggest that the sum of 58l. be disallowed.


begged to ask if the Castle of Dublin was to be maintained as an occasional residence for Her Majesty? Imagination ran fast in Dublin, and, as persons seemed to think the Castle would be a second Hampton Court, it might be well to set the question at rest.


replied, that he had no certain information on the point, but it was clear that it would be necessary the State apartments should be kept up, as, in case Her Majesty visited Ireland, the only reception rooms were in the Castle.


hoped Government would give some intimation of what was to be done with Kilmainham.


, in reply, said, an impression had gone abroad that it was intended to withdraw the establishment at Kilmainham; but the fact was that no decision had been come to. The Committee had directed their attention to the subject, and had inquired if all the purposes of the establishment might not be answered by Chelsea Hospital; but, as yet, they had only taken evidence, had formed no opinion, and had made no communication to Government. After they had reported, it would be for Government to adopt their recommendation, if it was thought fit.


could only hope any proposition to withdraw the hospital would be met in the same way as a similar proposal seventeen years ago.


said, that the vote for public works in Ireland was 18,093l. Now, in that total sum there appeared an item of 1,240l. 10s. for maintenance and repairs of the College of Maynooth, and he begged to move that that vote he negatived.


said, that the Act of the 8th and 9th of Victoria, cap. 8, directed that the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland should cause the buildings of the College of Maynooth to he kept in repair; but that Act did not provide any means whereby the expenses of those repairs were to be defrayed; a vote for that purpose, therefore, became necessary every year.


inquired if they were to have a vote of 1,200l. every year for the College of Maynooth?


Such sum as might be necessary every year; this year it was 1,240l 10s.


It was 1,114l. last year.


said, that no repairs were now going on in the old buildings at Maynooth.


objected to trying the whole Maynooth question by a side vote; neither would he consent to the purchase of new buildings under the pretence of repairing the old.


again referred to the Act of Parliament in consequence of which the vote was proposed, and repeated that it was for the repair of old buildings.


should not object to the vote if it were for bonâ fide repairs, but, as no repairs were now going on, some suspicion attached to the matter.


could not allow it to be supposed that the Commissioners of Public Works would he guilty of such a gross breach of duty as to obtain money for one purpose and apply it to another.

Afterwards Motion made, and Question put— That a sum, not exceeding 16,852l. be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Expense of maintaining the several Public Buildings in the Department of the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland; also the Expense of Inland Navigation and other Services under the direction of the said Commissioners, to the 31st day of March, 1851.

The Committee divided:—Ayes 47; Noes 124: Majority 77.

List of the AYES.
Adderley, C. B. Hood, Sir A.
Archdall, Capt. M. Jones, Capt.
Arkwright, G. Kershaw, J.
Baldock, E. H. King, hon. P. J. L.
Blackstone, W. S. Manners, Lord J.
Blandford, Marq. of Mundy, W.
Brockman, E. D. Newport, Visct.
Brooke, Lord Newry and Morne, Visct.
Carew, W. H. P. Plowden, W. H. C.
Clifford, H. M. Salwey, Col.
Colvile, C. R. Seymer, H. K.
Disraeli, B. Smyth, J. G.
Dodd, G. Smollett, A.
Drummond, H. Stanford, J. F.
Duncan, G. Stanley, E.
Farrer, J. Stanley, hon. E. H.
Forbes, W. Taylor, T. E.
Fox, S. W. L. Trollope, Sir J.
Goddard, A. L. Verner, Sir W.
Grogan, E. Waddington, H. S.
Hardcastle, J. A. Walmsley, Sir J.
Harris, hon. Capt. Williams, J.
Harris, R. TELLERS.
Hastie, A. Sibthorp, Col.
Heyworth, L. Repton, G. W. J.

Original Question put, and agreed to.

(8.) 10,788l., Kingston Harbour. Vote agreed to.

Resolutions to he reported on Monday next.

Committee to sit again on Monday next.