HC Deb 30 May 1850 vol 111 cc458-60

begged to ask a question of the Chief Commissioner for the building of the New Houses of Parliament, that being the most fitting opportunity for putting it. It was, whether he would then state to the House what were the precise alterations suggested by the Commissioners with reference to taking down the strangers' gallery, and pulling down the wall behind the reporters' gallery?


said, that at the present moment there were no suggestions made by the Commissioners, either to Mr. Barry or himself. They were anxious that hon. Members should try the House, and then make any suggestions which they might think proper. Now, that they had had the opportunity of trying it, they would be better able to form a judgment as to the accommodation which it afforded, and how they could make themselves heard in it, and they could now suggest such alterations or amendments as they might think it needed.


wished to know whether he was to understand that all hon. Members were invited to send in their suggestions to the Commissioners?


said, that if hon. Members did so, the Commissioners would be very willing to attend to them.


wished to know, was the present trial to be the only one? Because, whilst every one was speaking to his neighbour as loud as he pleased, debating the novelty of their position, and hon. Members were moving about to all parts of the House, it would be quite impossible to judge whether it was easy or difficult to hear in it. He would beg to suggest that they should have a regular long debate in it upon some important subject before they came to any decision upon its merits, or offered any suggestions as to alterations.


said, that the Commissioners would take every opportunity possible of attending to any suggestions that might be made to them. But there was one observation of the hon. and gallant Member for Middlesex which he wished to set him right concerning. He (Mr. Greene) was not the Chief Commissioner; Sir John Burgoyne was the chairman of the Commission, and might therefore be styled the Chief Commissioner. He himself stood only third on the list.


said, that, by general consent, the House could meet again in the New House on any future day.


said, that it was impossible as yet to form a judgment as to the capacity of the building for transmitting sound. No doubt hon. Members scarcely heard a word of what was going forward; but it should be recollected that they had been doing only private business, which no one ever attended to in the old House except those who were immediately interested, and therefore they should not judge of the House nor condemn it too hastily.


said, that there was a public Bill specially set down for third reading at twelve o'clock that day. Hon. Members should therefore wait until five o'clock, and put their questions then.


from, the gallery opposite the Speaker's chair—Sir, we do not know here what is going forward.


said, that the House had not formally declared, as yet, that at its rising it would adjourn to the old House. They ought to be informed whether they were to adjourn to meet in the old House at five o'clock, and whether they were then to be counted, as a mistake upon that head might cause no House to be made in the evening.


said, that, at its rising, the House would adjourn until five o'clock. At that hour it would assemble again in the old House, and be counted as usual.


Sir, I don't know whether you can hear down there, but we certainly cannot hear at all up here.


said, that there ought to be an examination at the bar of the House, in order to test the power of hearing in it thoroughly. And there was no person whom it would be more proper to examine than Mr. Barry himself; they would then have an opportunity of judging whether he could make himself heard.

Subject dropped.