HC Deb 01 July 1851 vol 118 cc103-4

moved for an Address to Her Majesty, "That She will be pleased to give directions that the granite Obelisk given by the late Mahomet Ali to the British nation may he brought to England." The obelisk which had been presented to the French nation had long since been conveyed to France; and it was a reproach to England that that which had been presented to the English nation, and which might be conveyed here for 6,000l. or 7,000l., was permitted to remain buried in the sand. The Army and Navy subscribed in 1801 to bring home this obelisk, but the proceedings were put a stop to by the admiral on the station.

Motion made, and Question proposed— That this House will, To-morrow, resolve itself into a Committee, to consider of presenting to Her Majesty an humble Address, that She will be pleased to give directions, that the Granite Obelisk, given by the late Mahomet Ali to the British Nation (which Obelisk is now lying on the beach at Alexandria), may be brought to England, and that this House will grant such funds as may be requisite to bring it to and erect it in an appropriate situation in England.


could not consent to the Motion without further consideration. The report of Sir Gardiner Wilson and other travellers was to the effect that the inscriptions on the column itself were so much injured that it would be scarely worth while to incur the expense of carrying it to this country at all. However, the question of expense was not quite so clear as the hon. Member seemed to think. The cost of conveyance would probably be much larger than 7,000l. [Mr. HUME: I will undertake to bring it to this country myself for that sum.] The offer was certainly a tempting one, but he did not think it would be quite fair to take the hon. Member at his word. He hoped the hon. Member would withdraw his Motion, and he (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) would promise that the question should engage the serious consideration of the Government. He certainly did think that the subject was one which required further deliberation.


thought it was a barbaric practice to remove these momuments of antiquity from their appropriate scenes. The money would be much more advantageously expended if allocated to the purposes of the Dublin hospitals.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

The House adjourned at a quarter before One o'clock.