§ On the Motion that the House resolve itself into Committee of Supply,
§ LORD ELCHO
said, he rose in pursuance of notice to submit a Motion for the issue of a Royal Commission to determine the site of the New National Gallery. He was compelled to ask the indulgence of the House on the ground that he was still an invalid, and he must also state that he was in the anomalous position of being unable to vote for his own Motion, as, with the view of going abroad, he had paired off with an hon. Member for the remainder of the Session. Questions of this nature did not generally excite much interest or attention, but the subject to which he 2098 wished to draw attention was one of considerable importance, as upon its determination would depend whether a large sum of the public money was to be laid out providently or improvidently. He would first explain his reasons for bringing forward a Motion on this subject. By a Bill now before Parliament, called the National Gallery Site Bill, the House were called upon to affirm the proposition that the site of the National Gallery should be fixed at Kensington Gore. That Bill would have passed a second reading some time since had it not been for the watchfulness and perseverance of a few hon. Members who objected to the site proposed. Now, he was not prepared, and many other hon. Gentlemen were not prepared, to vote upon that proposition one way or the other. He had given notice of the present Motion because he thought the question required further investigation, and would be more properly brought before the House in that form than by the Bill; and he had to thank the noble Lord at the head of the Government for the courtesy with which he had postponed the second reading of the Bill until the Motion had been disposed of. The Motion naturally divided itself into two parts, as it raised the questions, first, whether a Royal Commission should be issued to determine the site of the National Gallery, and, secondly, whether that Royal Commission, if issued, should likewise consider the desirableness of combining with the National Gallery the fine art and archæological collections of the British Museum? The question as to the site was a very simple one—were the House prepared, without any further inquiry, to vote for the removal of the National Gallery to Kensington Gore. He for one certainly was not prepared so to vote. One reason why delay was imperative was the great difference of opinion upon the question which existed both in and out of that House. Some Gentlemen were anxious at all price, at all hazard, to remove the National Gallery to Kensington Gore; others thought that, of all situations which could be selected for a National Gallery, Kensington Gore was the worst; others, again, said that, if Kensington Gore was the only alternative, its removal there might, perhaps, be desirable; and that was the view taken by the Committee of 1853; and another class thought that, from the commanding and central position which the National Gallery now occupied, it ought not to be removed. 2099 Various arguments would no doubt be brought against his Motion by the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He had heard it argued in the first place, that Parliament was committed to the site of Kensington Gore by the Vote of £150,000 for the purchase of the ground Which had been moved by the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Diaraeli), when Chancellor of the Exchequer; in the second place, it was asked what was the use of further inquiry when there had been Commissions and Committees on the subject without end? Thirdly, it was said that the Committee of 1853 had determined upon accepting the site of Kensington Gore by a Resolution embodied in their Report. With regard to the first objection, having carefully looked through all the discussions which had taken place on the subject, he thought that Parliament was in no way committed upon the question of the site. When the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Disraeli) in an able speech explained his scheme, although he shadowed forth a National Gallery as One of the purposes to which the ground might be put, nothing specific was determined. On that occasion the late Mr. Hume objected to the removal of the National Gallery from its present central position, although he cordially approved of the industrial scheme proposed to be carried out at Kensington Gore. He (Lord Elcho) must here disclaim any intention to interfere with the industrial scheme proposed by the Royal Commission of 1851, of which Prince Albert was the able and active head, a scheme proposed in consequence of the deficiency of this country in the arts of design as applied to manufactures. The hon. Member for North Warwickshire, as well as Mr. Hume, raised his voice on the occasion to which he had referred against the removal of the National Gallery, so that nothing had then passed to commit the House. In 1854 the question was again brought before Parliament, as it was found that £27,500 beyond the sum already voted was required, and then an hon. Friend of his, now on the Treasury bench, whose vote he was afraid Would not now be given to him, but whose sympathies he knew were with him, he meant the hon. Member for Poole (Mr. D. Seymour), objected to money being voted for the removal of the National Gallery, and said, he (Lord Elcho) distinctly remembered that no pledge had been given on the part of the House that it should be removed. Therefore it was quite clear that 2100 they were in no way pledged or committed Upon the subject. With regard to the second objection he had mentioned, he certainly admitted that a number of inquiries had taken place, for there had bees no less than two Commissions (appointed by the Treasury) and five Committees. The Commission of 1850 inquired into the state of the pictures, and recommended, in consequence of the dust and dirt accumulated on them, that they should be covered with glass. The Commission of 1851, of which the present Duke of Somerset was a Member, reported in favour of one of two sites in Kensington Gardens—one, the end of the walk near the Bayswater Road; the other, the paddock, near Kensington Palace. The first Committee was appointed in 1836, but that only considered the question of the occupation of part of the building by the Royal Academy. There had always been something unfortunate about the National Gallery, it had been a ricketty child from its birth, for no sooner was it erected than a question arose as to its occupation, and a great part of it had always been occupied by the Royal Academy. The next Committee, which sat in 1841, merely inquired into the number of visitors to the gallery. The Committee of 1850, although they thought the site not as advantageous as it might be for the preservation of the pictures, could make no recommendation on the subject in ignorance of the site to which it was proposed to be removed. In 1847 and 1848 a Committee sat, of Which the late Sir Robert Peel, the Earl of Carlisle, the noble Lord the Member for London (Lord J. Russell), and other distinguished men were members, and they came to the unanimous decision that the National Gallery ought not to be removed from its present site. The result of the various inquiries was not conclusive or satisfactory. Indeed, the Reports on the subject were most contradictory. He now came to the Committee of 1853, and he imagined that it was to carry out the views of that Committee that the Government now proposed to remove the National Gallery to Kensington Gore. He was quite ready to admit that that Committee came to a Resolution accepting the site of Kensington Gore for the National Gallery, but It was merely on the idea that there Was no other alternative, and the Resolution to that effect was only carried by a majority of one. A paragraph inserted in the Report for removing the National Gallery to 2101 Kensington Gore was, undoubtedly, carried by six against five, but if the substantive motion had not been carried by a majority of one the Committee would not have affirmed the acceptance of the site. He was in the minority, and he was supported by the hon. Member for the University of Dublin (Mr. G. A. Hamilton) who was the financial secretary of the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Disraeli) at the time when the decision was arrived at. He was also supported in the minority by the late Sir William Molesworth, and he thought that all that he had stated showed that the opinion of the Committee on this subject was anything but unanimous, and that too much weight must not be attached to a decision accepting the Kensington Gore site as the only alternative. The Chairman of the Committee on the occasion was Colonel Mure then Member for Renfrewshire, and there was no doubt that if he had had occasion to give a casting vote on the subject he would have voted against the Kensington Gore site, for he drew up a draught Report condemning it. He (Lord Elcho) therefore could not help thinking that the case of those who based their views in favour of the removal of the National Gallery to Kensington Gore on the Report of that Committee was not very strongly supported. The Committee, he repeated, adopted the Kensington Gore site because they believed there was no other alternative, but if hon. Members looked over the Parliamentary papers and documents they would find that not less than thirteen other sites were suggested as available or desirable for the National Gallery. It was not, therefore, on the supposed want of alternatives that the House was obliged to adopt the proposed site. Those were the reasons which induced him to desire that there should be some further inquiry to determine the site of the new National Gallery, But besides this there was a larger and wider question, to which he should shortly call the attention of the House—namely, whether it would not be desirable to combine with the new National Gallery the fine art and archæological collections at present in the British Museum. The subject had frequently engaged the attention of Parliament, and it would, no doubt, be in the recollection of the noble Member for London (Lord J. Russell), who moved the Vote in Supply for the British Museum, that the question as to what should be done with the collections in the British 2102 Museum was more or less brought before the House. The right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Disraeli) when Chancellor of the Exchequer, gave what was a true account of the origin of the difficulties connected with the collections in the Museum. Since those collections, formed by Sir Hans Sloane, came into the possession of the nation continual additions had been made to them, until the Museum had become a perfect Noah's ark, containing birds, beasts, fishes, and other things, arranged without system, while each department appeared to be in a state of chronic congestion. He was told that two cases which had arrived from Edinburgh must remain in the cellars along with a hundred others, and that when a new bull came from Nineveh a stable was obliged to be built for it in some out-of-the-way place. With regard to books, however, he was told by Mr. Panizzi that in consequence of the Vote of £140,000 for a new reading-room there was space for £1,500,000 volumes. The Committee of 1853 were in favour of combining with the new National Gallery, the fine art and archæological collections of the British Museum. Now, assuredly if the collections were to be moved, they must be moved as a whole. When the question came before the Committee of 1853 he had hesitated to give an opinion upon it, and he had moved to recommend the appointment of a Commission on the subject. The eleventh Resolution of the Committee was to that effect. He was happy to say that in this proposition for the appointment of a Commission he had the concurrence of Lord Ellesmere, whose opinion oh such subjects was entitled to the greatest weight, and with the permission of the House, he would read a letter from that nobleman:—My dear Elcho,—Our conversation, yesterday, set me thinking, and the result of my reflections is that the time is arrived when the whole subject is ripe for the consideration of a Commission, but not for immediate action. There are many questions which seem to me to deserve mature consideration before a brick is laid for a National Gallery, or for any permanent building. The said National Gallery is the pivot round which all these questions may naturally be made to turn.There are at least two primary points respecting which rational men may, and probably do, differ. What will you put into it? and, where will you place it? The settlement of the first may much influence the decision on the second. Will you confine it to a place of exhibition for the choice collection of old masters now in Trafalgar Square, and its contingent accessions of the same kind, which may be considerable, but will never 2103 be enormous, i.e., if anything like a high standard of merit is to be preserved? Will you adjoin to it the proposed portrait gallery, drawings, &c.?Sculpture? If so, will you make any distinction between works of excellence as models in an artistic sense, and those in which antiquarian and historic considerations predominate—between Greece and Rome, and Egypt and Nineveh?Will you relieve the Museum at all, either in this way, or by removing to some cheaper (?), but better lighted and more suitable building, the natural history, or any special branch of the same, such as fossil bones?Having seen your way through these questions, will you keep your gallery where it is, lodging the academy elsewhere, or move it? To Kensington Palace? To Gore House site? To the Botanic Gardens, Regent's Park?I do not think there is one of these questions which does not deserve consideration, and which has, as yet, sufficiently received it.Move for a Commission.yours,EGERTON ELLESMERE.The question of site depended not only upon whether it should be determined to combine our collections, but on the manner in which that was to be carried out; whether it was to be done in a handsome manner, worthy of the arts, or whether it was to be done economically. It might be done in such a manner, he apprehended, as to keep both considerations in view. He had had considerable delicacy in mentioning Kensington Palace as a site, because that was a Royal residence, and he spoke in utter ignorance of the intentions or wishes of Her Majesty with regard to it. It must be remembered, however, that the gardens of Kensington Palace were now open to the public, and the privacy of the palace as a Royal residence was therefore destroyed. In the time of William the Third and the early Georges the gardens were closed to the public except on Saturdays, but gradually they had become perfectly free. Still, if it were determined to erect on that site a palace worthy of the arts it would not preclude Her Majesty, or any future Sovereign who might feel so disposed, from erecting a Royal residence in close connection with the gallery. That was the case in Paris, in Berlin, and in Florence; and there would be this great advantage, that on State occasions the two might be thrown together, as was done with the Tuileries and the Louvre Gallery, so as to form one magnificent suite of rooms. If Her Majesty should consent to such a sacrifice as giving up Kensington Palace for the benefit of the public, sure he was that Parliament and the country would be ready to offer any equivalent 2104 which Her Majesty at any future time might desire. Another way in which it had been suggested that this combination could be carried out was to give Burlington House to the Prince of Wales, to clear away St. James's Palace and Marlborough House, which would give a frontage of 1,100 feet, and there to erect a National Gallery in connection with a new suite of Royal reception-rooms, which hon. Members were well aware were very much needed. Whitehall had also been mentioned as possessing capabilities for a National Gallery. Another site was that of Kensington Gore, where, although there was ample room in the lower part of the ground, the frontage was somewhat restricted, and where no one who had given attention to this matter believed that there could he erected a building which would be an ornament to the metropolis. Immediately in front of this site there were two parallel dusty roads, and the low ground behind looked towards Brompton and parts of London little frequented except by those who were in the habit of going to Cremorne Gardens. There was was one plan by which the proposed combination might be both satisfactorily and economically carried out. He had already referred to the crowded state of the British Museum. Now, if they sent the botanical collection at the British Museum to Kew, that of zoology to the Zoological Gardens, and the minerals and fossils to Burlington Gardens, where it would be in close vicinity to the learned societies, which were, he understood, to be lodged in Burlington House, and in the immediate neighbourhood of the Geological Museum in Jermyn Street, there would then be in the British Museum three sides of the quadrangle for the reception of paintings and sculpture, a space greater than this country was at all likely to require. It would be desirable, therefore, in order that all these questions might be set at rest, that there should be a Commission appointed. If that Commission should report against the desirableness of combining the various collections, he, for one, should be opposed to the removal of the National Gallery from its present site. A great deal had been said of the extent to which the pictures in that collection suffered from dirt and dust; but in that respect they were no worse off than were the various private collections in the heart of London, such as those of the Duke of Northumberland, Lord Ellesmere, the Marquess of Westminster, the late Mr. Rogers, Mr. 2105 Hope, and various others. He believed that the pictures might, to a great extent, be protected against these evils by improved ventilation, by the use of doors to check the entrance of dust, which had only lately been introduced into the National Gallery—and which, by the bye, when he went there the other day, he found carefully tied open—and by covering the pictures with glass. He was himself one of the majority of ten to one which voted for the removal of the National Gallery; but he voted for that removal only with a view to the combination of the collections, such as was to be found at Paris, St. Petersburg, Berlin, Naples, Florence, and other continental cities. If that scheme were not carried out he should be very much tempted to keep the National Gallery where it was. The Committee of 1847 and 1848 said in their Report, which was drawn up by Lord Carlisle, the Chairman—After careful deliberation, they unanimously concurred in the opinion that, taking into account the commanding nature of the site occupied by the present building, to which it would, perhaps, be difficult to find a parallel in our own or any other capital; its accessibility and nearness to the chief thoroughfares and centres of business, which are fed by what has been described in a well-known phrase as 'the fullest tide of human existence;' the aids to economy which, without sacrificing the beauty of effect which a new front and additional height may confer on the structure, would be furnished by the rare circumstance of only one ornamental front being rendered necessary from the disposition of the ground, and by the means which are at hand for making use of the whole of the present interior, due regard being paid to the convenience of the Royal Academy in procuring suitable accommodation elsewhere; the space for further enlargement which, in the process of time, and concurrently with the exigencies of the collection might be supplied by occupying the uncovered ground now in the occupation of public establishments in the rear of the present buildings; for all these reasons your Committee would recommend that whenever it is undertaken the enlarged and improved National Gallery should be on the same site as at present.Another point on which it was essential that the House should be informed was, what were the intentions of the Government as to disposing of the present National Gallery, and as to the accommodation of the Royal Academy. If that society were to be permanently lodged at the national expense, it became a question whether there ought not to be an inquiry how far it fulfilled the objects for which it was established, and a decision ought to be come to as to whether it should be a 2106 self-elected or a representative body, or whether its members should be nominated by the Crown. He was convinced that the best way of dealing with this question would be by the issue of a Royal Commission; but at least he hoped that the House would not assent to the Bill for marking out the site of the National Gallery, which was the next order on the paper. Either that Bill was premature, or there was something behind it of which the House was not aware. Unless the Government had plans and everything ready they could not mark out the site, and if they had such plans prepared the House ought to see them. In reference to the production of plans he confidently anticipated the support of the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Disraeli), who, in supporting the vote of £150,000 for the purchase of the land, said that all further plans must be submitted to the House, which would not, he was certain, consent to the erection of any building without a very rigid scrutiny into all the arrangements, and without taking care that all the talent of the country should be brought into competition. With reference to this public competition, he (Lord Elcho) was of opinion that designs ought to be received from the whole civilised world, and that they ought to be publicly exhibited. If such a plan were pursued we should not be likely to make such mistakes as we had hitherto done, and instances of which were to be found in the statue of the Duke of Wellington, placed in a position in the like of which no statue ever before found itself, the front of Buckingham Palace, which needed repairs almost before it was completed, which, finally, required to be painted, and which now looked as if it was stucco instead of stone. Then there was the National Gallery, and the fountains in Trafalgar Square, which gave to foreigners the impression that these things could not be managed except under a Gevernment having somewhat of a despotic character. It, therefore, behoved the House to take care that in this instance no similar mistake should be made. He was not prepared to admit that the country which had produced a Reynolds and a Wren was wholly destitute of a taste for the fine arts, and he trusted that the Government would refrain from coming to any hasty decision on this matter by acceding to the Motion which he ventured to submit to the House.
Amendment proposed, to leave out from
the word "That" to the end of the Question, in order to add the words—
An humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying Her Majesty to be graciously pleased to issue a Royal Commission to determine the site of the new National Gallery, and to report on the desirableness of combining with it the Fine Art and Archæological Collections of the British Museum, in accordance with the recommendation of the Select Committee on the National Gallery in 1853," instead thereof.
§ MR. MONCKTON MILNES
said, as a member of the Committee which reported in favour of accepting the proposal of the Commissioners of the Royal Exhibition, to erect at Kensington Gore a building to contain the works of art which were to be transferred from Trafalgar Square and other places, he perhaps might be permitted to explain to the House the reasons which then actuated him, and the reasons which induced him still to adhere to his former opinion. He thought that his noble Friend had allowed his imagination to run wild, and, indulging in every conceivable supposition, had sketched out a magnificent edifice for the fine arts, the basis of which rested on his own prolific invention, while its completion was not likely to be realised during the life of any man among them. Beginning with the hypothetical surrender on the part of Her Majesty of two of her ancestral palaces for the purposes of a National Gallery, the noble Lord went on to fill up a large portion of one of those parks which the inhabitants of the metropolis so highly valued; and, not content with these extensive projects, he must needs also knock down a portion of Pall Mall, with a view to the erection of his imaginary structure. It was obvious that, unless, they dealt in a less fanciful spirit with the question, they could never hope to arrive at any practical decision upon it. The scheme of the Government appeared to possess many advantages, the foremost of which was the removal of the pictures contained in the National Gallery from the existing building. His noble Friend had slurred over the consideration of the damage done to the pictures by their retention in their present position, alleging that they were no more liable to injury than the paintings at Northumberland House, and in other private collections, similarly situated. But it should be borne in mind that the uniform testimony of the witnesses examined before the Committee, of which both his noble Friend and himself had the honour to be members, went to show that there was no analogy in this respect between a private gallery and 2108 a public exhibition. The evidence of Mr. Dyce especially met this argument of his noble Friend, and it must be obvious to every one that a place of public resort, with its exigencies of ventilation and the other arrangements requisite for a crowd of visitors, could not be included in the same category with a private gallery, the pictures of which were exposed to comparatively slight deterioration. He had the highest respect for the authority of Lord Ellesmere, but when that distinguished nobleman said that the frequent inquiries which this subject had undergone only made it ripe for further investigation by a Commission, he (Mr. M, Milnes) must be permitted to remark that, if councils of that kind were to prevail, the present generation at least must give up all hope of seeing any practical result attained in this matter. In asking thus publicly for the concessions from the Crown which he had named, the noble Lord had adopted a course hardly consistent with constitutional precedent. Proposals as to concessions of that nature ought to be initiated by the responsible advisers of the Sovereign, for it was hardly consistent with the practice of that House to deal with the property of the Crown of its own accord. If the Government were inclined to substitute the proposal of the. noble Lord to select Kensington Gardens, he should be delighted to accept the arrangement, but at present he thought he was precluded from taking it into consideration. He hoped the question was so far removed from difficulty, that it was agreed, by all lovers of art, that the pictures in the National Gallery must be removed if they wished them to be preserved. The pictures which Mr. Rogers had bequeathed to the nation had lost half of their charms since they had been hung up in those apartments. He was astonished to hear his noble Friend suggest, as a means of preserving the pictures from injury, that they should be covered with glass. It was well known that by interposing such a medium between the spectator and the productions of the painter's genius the beauty of such works of art was materially diminished. No one who had visited the splendid gallery at Dresden, and gazed on the magnificent picture by Raphael which adorned it, and which was covered with glass, could for a moment doubt the truth of his assertion. He did not think Kensington Gore was too remote a site for the National Gallery. That situation, while it would be sufficiently removed from the crowded parts of the 2109 metropolis, would yet be within easy walking distance from them. He would not, however, object to the appointment of another Commission to examine into the subject if he thought it would lead to any more definite conclusion than had followed the series of inquiries which preceded it. But the proposed Commission would be just as much at sea as those that had gone before—it would have ten or a dozen different sites placed before it, from which it would have to choose one. The scheme proposed by the Government possessed certain definite advantages, one of which was its cheapness. The Great Exhibition had proved so remunerative that the Commissioners, under the superintendence of Prince Albert, had been enabled to make the country a magnificent gift of one-half the land necessary for a site, He did not agree with his noble Friend in the opinion that the locality was a disadvantageous one, but, on the contrary, it possessed this important advantage, that it was expansive. The frontage might be narrow, but there was a large extent of ground in the rear which would afford opportunities for enlarging the building, if it should be thought desirable to do so, to such an extent as to realise his noble Friend's expectations, and to render it a fit receptacle, not only for the pictures, but for all the works of art belonging to the nation. The military authorities had refused to give up the barracks at the back of the National Gallery, and it was therefore impossible the present building could be extended, and the objection of want of room for expansion would equally apply to the suggested site in Pall Mall. The advantage of expansion would of course be obtained if a building were erected in any of the parks, He remembered that the late Sir Robert Peel contemplated the erection of a splendid building in Hyde Park, which should contain all the national treasures of art; but that hope was entertained in those legendary days when there was an annual surplus in the Exchequer, and it was impossible to say when the country would be restored to the same fortunate position. His noble Friend had said that the opinions of the Committee were much divided on the subject, and that might have been the case before the question was discussed; but after prolonged discussions and repeated divisions his (Mr. M. Milnes's) Motion that the proposition of the Commissioners should be adopted was agreed to without an opposing voice. He contended, then, that the Government were 2110 fairly justified in supposing that the question was to a certain degree concluded, and in acting upon that decision to the extent they had done. The question of the division of the collections in the British Museum still remained, and on that point he was much inclined to agree with his noble Friend. The present system was destructive at once of those collections themselves, and of the objects for which they were brought together.
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
I think, Sir, that the House will agree that my noble Friend (Lord Elcho) has done good service by laying before them the ample and clear exposition of his views upon this subject, and by assisting them in the consideration of the question he has brought under their notice, not only by criticising the plan proposed by the Government, but also by submitting to them—with a candour for which I cannot sufficiently commend him—the various alternatives he recommends for their adoption in preference to the plan of Her Majesty's Government. We have not selected any one of those plans, but, unless some one of them should appear preferable to that adopted by the Government, I apprehend that the House will be prepared to accede to the proposition we have submitted to them. In approaching the examination of this question, I think the House will see that it resolves itself into two branches. The first question we have to consider is, whether the National Gallery shall or shall not be removed from its present position in Trafalgar Square, Upon that point I fully admit to my noble Friend that this House is perfectly free to come to any decision it may please. It is not precluded by any previous decision upon that subject; but, on the other hand, as the purchase of a part of the estate at Kensington Gore has been made—a purchase which originated with the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Disraeli)—and as this House voted a grant in augmentation of the purchase-money, I must say that I think the House at the time it made that grant contemplated its application to the purposes of a National Gallery. If hon. Gentlemen refer to the debates which took place at the time, I believe they will see, from the language used in proposing the grant, that such an application of it was within the distinct contemplation of the Government and of the House. For my own part, after having given a most careful consideration to the subject, I must confess 2111 it seems to me that the arguments in favour of the removal of the National Gallery from its present position in Trafalgar Square greatly preponderate. It is true, as my noble Friend has stated, that the Commissions which have instituted inquiries on this subject have arrived at different conclusions; but the last and most complete inquiry was that of the Committee of 1853, of which Colonel Mure was the Chairman. That Committee investigated the subject with a full knowledge of the results of the inquiries of previous Commissions and Committees, and they came to a distinct Resolution in favour of the removal of the National Gallery from its present position, which they embodied in these words,—"That the site of the present National Gallery is not well adapted for the construction of a new gallery." Now, these words are perfectly unambiguous. They apply not only to the present gallery, but to any possible gallery that might be erected on the same site. I find, on referring to the account of the division, that ten members of the Committee voted for the Resolution which was moved by Lord Seymour, now Duke of Somerset, and the only Member who voted against it was the hon. Member for Salisbury (Mr. Baring Wall). Now, Sir, there can he nothing more distinct than the finding of the Committee on the removal of the gallery from Trafalgar Square. The grounds of that Resolution are, I think, quite satisfactory, and are borne out by the great preponderance of the testimony of competent witnesses. Almost all the witnesses examined before that Committee gave it as their opinion that the impurities of the atmosphere and other influences render that site very unfavourable to the preservation of pictures in a perfect state. Now, that might therefore be assumed to be a proposition which was incapable of being controverted. I quite concur in the remarks of my hon. Friend the Member for Pontefract (Mr. M, Milnes), that it shows the desperateness of the remedy my noble Friend proposes when he recommends the use of glass in front of the pictures. I can only say that if my noble Friend is reduced to the necessity of recommending, that the pictures should be covered with glass, that is a practical admission that Trafalgar Square is unfitted for the site of a National Gallery. My noble Friend resorts to a somewhat inconsistent answer to this argument. He asks whether there are not many great 2112 collections of pictures in private houses in this metropolis, the circumstances of which in regard to situation are no better than Trafalgar Square. But it is to be observed that private gentlemen, whatever their income may he, have no option but to keep their pictures in their own houses. A private gentleman cannot afford to build a picture gallery at Kensington Gore. Where his house is, there must be his picture gallery; and if his house is not distant from the centre of the metropolis, his picture gallery must labour under the same disadvantages. If the nation had no other alternative, my noble Friend's argument would be conclusive, but as it is, this argument appears to me to be wholly irrelevant. Well, Sir, that being the case, the House will, I think, come to the conclusion that the weight of reasoning and authority is in favour of removing the National Gallery from Trafalgar Square. I am quite aware of the fondness of this House for inquiry. But still, in my opinion, there ought to be some limit to inquiry. We, cannot be always delegating our judgment to Committees and Commissions, and if hon. Members will refer to Reports and documents which they will find upon their tables, and if they will go through the necessary process of examining the evidence which they already possess, they will be as capable to judge for themselves upon this question as they ever can be if the House appoint a series of Committees and Commissions for ten years to come. I think the House may come to a conclusion without further delegation or inquiry in favour of removing the pictures from Trafalgar Square to some spot in the vicinity of the metropolis in which a purer atmosphere prevailed. Supposing that question decided, the next question—and what I admit to be the chief difficulty—is, whether the site of Kensington Gore is preferable to any other. If I satisfy the House that that site is decidedly preferable to any other site that has been suggested by my noble Friend—and I cannot complain that he has not suggested sufficient—the House will, I trust, not hesitate to vote in favour of a second reading of the Bill which stands upon the Orders for to-night. Let me state the principal reasons for selecting the site at Kensington Gore. Now, the first consideration, which my noble Friend passed over lightly, and which I fear, from some portions of his speech, is but a slight consideration with him, but which, looking particularly to the 2113 office I hold, appears to me of some importance—is the consideration of expense. The site which is offered to the country is a site of which half the expense has already been defrayed by funds not paid out of the Exchequer, but offered and tendered by the Commissioners of the Exhibition of 1851. The estate at Kensington Gore consists of eighty-six acres. These eighty-six acres cost £342,000. Of that sum £177,000 was paid by the Government, but the remaining £165,000, or nearly one half, was paid by the Commissioners of the Exhibition of 1851 out of the residue of the receipts of that great undertaking. The value of the site is certainly greater now than it was when the purchase was made, and from the progress of building westward the House will perceive that it must receive an annually increasing value. The nation may therefore consider that it has made an advantageous bargain with the Commissioners in accepting that site to be applied to public purposes. The National Gallery Bill, which now stands for second reading, will enable the Government to take from the Commissioners of 1851 so much land from that estate as shall be required for the purposes of the site of a National Gallery. The Bill does not go beyond the acceptance of half their share of the estate, which it vests absolutely in the Commissioners of Woods; but it does not pledge the House to the grant of any specific sum of money or a specific plan in accordance with which it is to be constructed. It accepts a portion of that land for a site of the National Gallery, and it vests that site absolutely in the Government. Well, Sir, that being the state of the case as to the cost of the site, I cannot understand what doubt bon. Gentlemen can have, or what ground there can be for the opinion that the locality which has been selected is not admirably adapted for a National Gallery, provided we come to the conclusion that it ought to be taken out of the centre of the streets, and placed on the edge and outskirts of the town. With regard to distance, it is close to the spot on which the great Exhibition of 1851 stood, and we know from the crowds that flocked to that Exhibition that the distance is not so great as to prevent persons who are desirous of seeing the pictures from accomplishing the distance. Then, the number of acres upon this estate offers ample room for the construction of a building of the size required for a National Gallery. It also admits 2114 of additions in future years, if it should be the pleasure of Parliament to make additions hereafter to such a gallery for other purposes, and, although the frontage of the estate in the Kensington-road is narrower than the width of the estate behind, yet the frontage will be fully sufficient for the purposes of a National Gallery, and there is in the breadth of the site ample space for the construction of a splendid and ornamental building. My noble Friend indulged in a remark that, I cannot avoid saying, astonished me. My noble Friend talked of the Brompton marshes, and said that the lower part of the estate was a swamp and a marsh. Now, I have had some local acquaintance with this part of town, and I should as soon expect to hear the sands of Arabia described as a marsh or a swamp as the district in question. I think my noble Friend must be aware that Brompton has been long celebrated for the salubrity of its air. Before the town had spread to its present extent our ancestors used to send their sick relations to Brompton for their health. My noble Friend no doubt remembers that at no great distance from the site of the proposed National Gallery stands the hospital for consumptive patients, which no doubt was chosen by medical men for its remarkable healthiness. Another class of persons reside there who are considered to be very nice in their choice of a situation. It is said that wherever you see a convent you may be sure that the founders have selected an advantageous site. Now, the Oratorians belonging to the Church of Rome have built a large establishment on the very edge of my noble Friend's swamp, and any person who visits that site will see the building of the Oratorians occupying a very conspicuous situation. The more the subject cornea to be examined the more, in my opinion, it will be found that this large estate at Kensington Gore, whether we regard it on the score of expense, extent, or situation, offers the most eligible site for the new National Gallery. I do not ask the House to take that on my statement. I will follow my noble Friend through the long list of alternatives that he proposes. He has said that there are not less than three—I am not sure that he did not say four—different sites in Kensington Gardens. First and foremost, my noble Friend proposes to pull down Kensington Palace, and to build a National Gallery on its site. Now, considering that there is a great deal of 2115 vacant land in the neighbourhood of the metropolis which is admirably situated for such a purpose, it does seem to me to be a strange and wanton choice that my noble Friend should select the site of an existing building in order to construct a new one, and that he should insist upon pulling down an edifice, which may not, indeed, be remarkably beautiful, but which is still an imposing and extensive pile, and to replace which, if it were demolished, would involve the outlay of a very considerable sum of money. My noble Friend treats such a building, which has stood for so long a period, and which was erected at a great cost, as if it were a mere cottage or a hut to be swept away at will. One word with regard to the very summary way in which my noble Friend deals with the property of the Crown. He seems to assume that the property of the Crown is the property of the public, whereas he must know that it is only ceded for the life of the present Sovereign, and that, when the nation takes for any purpose Crown property, it is bound to purchase it in the same manner as if it were the property of a private individual. That occurred last year with respect to a portion of the vacant ground near Downing Street; and, if my noble Friend takes possession in a summary manner of Kensington Palace, he must purchase it from the Crown. The cost at which that purchase could be effected is not not a matter altogether free from doubt, but it is quite clear that before my noble Friend would be in possession of the site on which his new National Gallery is to be erected he would have a very large sum to advance to the crown. That I consider to be a most formidable objection to one of the plans of my noble Friend. Then, he has other plans of cutting out parts of Kensington Gardens, and making roads and approaches through the gardens to his National Gallery, for no other purpose that I can see which would not be answered by adopting the site proposed by the Government, which is only on the other side of the road, and is nearer to the metropolis. Really, after all that we have heard of the sanctity of the parks, and remembering how much was said upon the erection of the Great Exhibition building of 1851, for a temporary purpose, I am lost in astonishment at the very quiet manner in which my noble Friend proposes to appropriate a large portion of Kensington Gardens in order to erect a 2116 new National Gallery. I think that precisely the same objections apply to his plan of building a National Gallery in different parts of Hyde Park; for my firm conviction is, that if the Government had acted upon the advice of my noble Friend, and had proposed a plan for building the National Gallery in the centre of Hyde Park, they would have gone into the division lobby with scarcely a single Member to follow them. My noble Friend then says, "Sweep away St. James's Palace; sweep away Marlborough House, and erect a row of buildings which shall combine under the same roof a National Gallery and reception rooms for levees and drawing-rooms." Now, Sir, I am very much at a loss to know what reason there can be for combining two such dissimilar objects under one roof. I must say, that this plan, including as it does a proposition to shut up the road which the House only a few nights ago determined to open, appears to me to be more extravagant even, and less likely to be acceptable to the House, than the other plans which my noble Friend has proposed. At present the national Gallery stands at one end of Pall Mall, and we are told that the smoke and dust wholly unfit the site for the purpose of a National Gallery. Well, my noble Friend says, "Go to an enormous expense and build the National Gallery at the other end of Pall Mall, at the bottom of St. James's Street." Now, Sir, I cannot understand what object is to be gained by that small change of positions, and how it remedies the objection to the present gallery on account of the preservation of the pictures, it surpasses my comprehension to perceive. Indeed, I agree with the conclusion at which my noble Friend arrived towards the close of his speech, that if we are to have no other alternative than the transfer of the National Gallery from Trafalgar Square to St. James's Palace, it would be infinitely preferable to leave it where it is. Here, again, my noble Friend deals not only with the property of the Crown, but also with the property of the Prince of Wales, in what I certainly consider a somewhat unceremonious manner. As far as I understand, Marlborough House was purchased for the Prince of Wales, and was appropriated, with the assent of Parliament, to his use when he came of age. It is at present, I believe, vested in trustees for his benefit. Now, without the smallest communication with any person, my noble 2117 Friend proposes to take that property and to transfer the Prince of Wales, as if he were a picture or a statue in a gallery, from Marlborough. House to Burlington House, without his having any reason to know that such a transfer would be acceptable. I am at a loss to conceive what benefit could, under any circumstances, be derived from such a change of position, of the expense involved in which my noble Friend seems to take such little account. I must warn the House that persons who make propositions upon these subjects without the wholesome fear of the "Estimates" before their eyes, and who are not in the position of responsible Members of the Government, deal with them with an exceedingly light and easy hand; and I would caution the House against accepting too readily such propositions as those of my noble Friend. My noble Friend mentioned one or two other sites, the exact situation of which I was not able to catch. One, I think, that he proposed was Whitehall.
§ LORD ELCHO
I did not propose those sites mentioned by the right hon. Gentleman, I only referred to them to show how many sites had been proposed, in order to prove the difference of opinion which prevailed, and the necessity that there was for further consideration.
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
Sir, if my noble Friend did not consider them worthy of the serious consideration of the House, I do not see what advantage there was in his mentioning them. He called upon the House to agree to an Address to Her Majesty for a Commission to determine whether those sites were not preferable to that which had deliberately been proposed by the Government; and I say that he has been trifling with the House, and merely wasting its time, if he did not propose those questions seriously to its consideration. However, with regard to the site of Whitehall, I am at a loss to know where he would place the National Gallery; and I think we may consider ourselves extremely fortunate that my noble Friend did not propose to eject the Houses of Lords and Commons from their present building, in order to appropriate it to the purpose of a National Gallery. Let us look now for a moment at the terms of the Motion. My noble Friend proposes that a Commission should be appointed "to determine the site of the new National Gallery, and to report on the desirableness of combining 2118 with it the Fine Art and Archæological Collections of the British Museum, in accordance with the recommendation of the Select Committee on the National Gallery in 1853." Now, Sir, I wish to call the attention of the House to the recommendation of that Committee. With respect to the appointment of a Commission, their recommendation was confined exclusively to the question of combining the various artistic and archæological collections now in the British Museum with those of the National Gallery. The Committee clearly recommended that the National Gallery should be removed from its present site, and on the whole they suggested the adoption of Kensington Gore for the site, although I must add that they did not do so without some hesitation and qualification. They said nothing, however, about any Commission upon, the question of the site, and clearly they did not consider that any advantage was to be gained from a further inquiry into that question; because, having recommended one subject for the consideration of a Commission, they did not include that of the site, and expressio unius, est exclusio alterius. They did express their opinion that it would be desirable to have an inquiry into the question of removing the collections from the British Museum; but, in making a specific recommendation to that effect, they excluded the idea that they wished to make a similar recommendation with respect to a site. I do not charge my noble Friend with any want of candour; I merely regret his inattention to grammar, for anybody who reads his Resolution would suppose that the recommendation of the Committee applied to both those objects. My noble Friend said a great deal about the British Museum. I quite admit that it is a question well worthy the consideration of this House at some future time, when perhaps the Exchequer may be more overflowing than it is at present or is likely to be next year, whether it would not be advisable to take some steps for removing a portion of the collections from the British Museum. Let me, however, call the attention of the House to the state of that institution. The British Museum at present, with the addition which has recently been made, contains ample accommodation for the library and the reading-room, and for any extension of those departments which are likely to take place during the next century. But the Museum consists of two other departments, one of antiquities, 2119 the other of natural history—for which I cannot say that there is quite adequate space. Nevertheless, there is very considerable space, and if any one department were removed, a large portion of the Museum would be unoccupied. At present, therefore, there is no very strong reason for making the change referred to in the Report of the Committee. But it has been proposed to divide the collection of antiquities upon this principle—to leave in the Museum that portion of the collection which is interesting only on archæological grounds, find to combine with the National Gallery that portion which is interesting as works of art. My noble Friend, who is evidently familiar with the arguments upon that question, has referred to an able paper which appears as an appendix to the Report of the Committee—a paper written by Mr. Charles Newton, of the British Museum, and which I would strongly advise every Member of this House to read for himself. Whoever peruses that document will find, if he is not altogether convinced by it—which I confess myself to have been—that very serious objections exist to the project for dividing the collection of antiquities upon the principle which I have mentioned; and for the present, at all events, Her Majesty's Government are not prepared to entertain any such proposition. I admit, however, that the plan for removing some portions of the collection of the British Museum to other buildings is one which may reasonably be considered, although I do not approve the scheme proposed by my noble Friend for sending the zoological collection to the Zoological Gardens, which would be taking it out of the custody of the nation and handing it over to a private society. The same objection equally applies to his proposal to transfer the geological collection to the Geological Society. I am altogether adverse to any such arrangement. I would wish to keep the collections of natural history, now under the able superintendence of Professor Owen, not separately, but, if possible, in combination. Again, I must remind the House, that all propositions of this sort involve a large expenditure of money; and, unless the House is prepared to go to great expense for the purpose of providing buildings, I think it will scarcely he disposed to assume as a foregone conclusion that it has decided upon that step, and issue a Commission to inquire by what means it ought to be carried into effect. My noble Friend quoted, in support of his recommendations, a letter 2120 from the Earl of Ellesmere, which deservedly carried with it great weight, and I may take this opportunity of mentioning that, since the discussion which took place some time ago on the subject of a gallery of historical portraits, the noble Earl has presented to the Government, for the use of the nation, the picture known as the "Chandos portrait of Shakspeare." That munificent donation, I hope, may be regarded as a good omen for the commencement of a national historical portrait gallery. I fully admit the weight to which the Earl of Ellesmere's opinion is entitled, nor do I at all say that Her Majesty's Government would not be prepared at the proper season to issue a Commission to inquire into the expediency of making some alteration in the distribution of the collections now in the British Museum. They think, however, that no advantage would arise at the present moment from the issue of such a Commission, though they may may be prepared at the proper time to issue one; and they deem it desirable that a plain proposition should in the meantime be laid before the House, of which the first part is embodied in the Bill that now stands for a second reading, and the different portions of which I will now submit for your consideration. What the Government propose is, that this House should decide to remove the National Gallery from the present building in Trafalgar Square. They propose that the whole of that building should be assigned to the Royal Academy. It would be used during the season for exhibitions, and at all times as a school of art, and for the lectures which are delivered at the instance of the Royal Academy, and for which the present accommodation, during the period of the exhibitions, is insufficient. The trustees or governing body of the Royal Academy have at their disposal a considerable sum of money, and in the event of this House deciding to give them the use of the entire building, they would be prepared to expend a large portion of that fund in putting a new facade to the edifice, and thus greatly improve its architectural appearance. With regard to the site of the new National Gallery, all we propose at present is, that the nation should consent to take from the Exhibition Commissioners a half or some part of the ground which they possess at Kensington Gore. As to the plans of the building, it would be nugatory for the Government to cause plans to be made, to ask for tenders, or to frame estimates, until Parliament has 2121 decided the material question, whether the site at Kensington Gore should or should not be devoted to the construction of a National Gallery. If by passing the Bill, to which I have already referred, Parliament should decide that preliminary question, Her Majesty's Government would be prepared to take the necessary steps for obtaining by the most ample competition—by a competition not limited to England, but extended to foreign countries—plans made according to certain prescribed conditions. We do not intend, in the first instance, to go beyond the erection of a national gallery of pictures. I must not omit to mention that the main objection to the present site is, not the impurities of the atmosphere, but the narrowness of the space. The space is insufficient for a National Gallery, and besides, does not admit of extension; whereas, the proposed site admits of a gallery of unlimited extension, and on that account it has strong recommendations. When the plans have been received, we shall submit them, if thought desirable, to a Committee, and when one has been selected we shall cause estimates to be prepared, and the whole matter to be laid before the House in the most distinct manner. It appears to me that in this way the House will be able, with the greatest satisfaction to itself, to come to a decision on the subject. But I hope they will agree with me that it would be a mere waste of time and labour to refer such a matter as the selection of a site to the investigation of a Commission. Suppose, for instance, a Commission were to come to a conclusion in favour of some one of the numerous sites suggested by my noble Friend, when their recommendation had to be acted upon, it would perhaps be found that there were insuperable objections to the obtaining of such a site. This is a question which is not merely one of abstract speculation; it is a question which can only be with advantage entrusted to the hands of a responsible Executive Government; and I trust that, after the explanations I have given, at a length which I am afraid has wearied the House, they will come without difficulty to a vote against the Resolution of my noble Friend and in favour of the second reading of the Bill to which I have more than once adverted.
§ MR. TITE
said, that he regretted that the question of the site and the building to be erected on the site could not be taken up together and considered as one question. It appeared from the papers before 2122 the House that the Commissioners themselves were of the same opinion, for in the answer of their secretary, Mr. Bowring, they reserved to themselves the power of considering the appropriation of any site for which application might be made to them with reference to its requirements. It was with regret that he was forced, on consideration of the evidence contained in the Blue-book, to come to the conclusion thst the existing site of the National Gallery could not be maintained. He apprehended that no one, after reading the evidence which had been taken, could doubt the necessity of removing the pictures. The same necessity had occurred in Dresden, and from the same cause—the injury done to the pictures by smoke and dust; and at Dresden, also, some of the best pictures were protected by glass. The propriety of removal being admitted, the question arose, where could the gallery be best placed? He entirely agreed with what had fallen from the noble Lord, that the site of Kensington Palace would be the very best in London, if it could only be procured; and he would recommend the House to defer its decision on the subject until they should have had an opportunity of ascertaining whether there was any possibility of obtaining possession of that site. It was placed on high ground, was convenient to the two main roads leading out from that part of the metropolis, and its principal facade towards Kensington Gardens would command a position of great beauty. There was another site on the corresponding eminence in Hyde Park, and facing the same great avenue, which was well worthy the attention of the House. The Commission which sat upon this subject called in an eminent German architect, Baron von Klenze, architect and Privy Counsellor to the King of Bavaria. His Report, which appeared in the Blue-book in French, was the best resumé of the whole subject, but on the particular question of sites his attention was directed to two—the one at Kensington Gore, and the other in Hyde Park. On a comparison of the two he expressed a fear, with reference to Kensington Gore, that the whole of the low ground there would soon be covered with houses, thus rendering it undesirable for a picture gallery, and he thought that the ground in Hyde Park would be freer from that contingency. The noble Lord seemed to think that architectural beauty could not be obtained 2123 in any building erected at Kensington Gore, but in that he could not agree with him, for he thought that the ground there was sufficiently elevated and sufficiently well situated in other respects, to permit the erection of a building of great extent and great architectural beauty. The space proposed contained fifty acres; its height at the lower end was only twenty-four feet above high water and forty-four feet at the upper, whilst Kensington Palace was sixty-six feet above that level. He did not, however, think that it afforded in all respects a convenient site, inasmuch as there was not, at present at least, any commodious access from the northern parts of London, the only access being the distant one of Park Lane. Last year a Vote of £15,000 was taken to erect a temporary building on part of that land, and the other night the House voted £10,000 more. He must say that money had been very strangely expended. The most extraordinary building had been erected he ever saw. This was of course a matter of taste, but if gentlemen, while riding towards Rotten Row, would ride round in that direction, they would see such a piece of architecture as, he believed, they had never witnessed before. He wished the House to consider well what they were doing before they decided on the proposed new edifice. They were now embarking in an outlay of at least a million of money. Now, though no man would regret that such a sum should be devoted to artistic purposes, yet it should not be entered upon until the House understood what they were doing. They should have some precise understanding of what they were about. His opinion was, that they should construct a great Art Gallery, which should contain not only all the pictures belonging to the nation, but all the specimens of architecture and sculpture we possessed, and also the archæological department of the British Museum. Sooner or later it must come to that. He believed that if we were to confine our exertions at the commencement to the formation of a picture gallery, we should be imitating that short-sighted policy which had already led to so much waste of money and such a want of harmony and grandeur in the public works of this country. With regard to the competition for the building, he earnestly hoped that it would be a European competition. During the last few years there had been three such competitions, two in Hamburgh, and one in France; the latter for the 2124 cathedral of Lille, and every one of them, he was proud to be able to say, had been won by Englishmen. All wished that something creditable to the country should be produced in the present case, and he trusted the House would not proceed hastily in the matter, but that they would carefully consider it in all its details before they committed themselves to an irrevocable decision. The question could be taken up by the Board of Works, as to the total expenditure, and the Commission might determine what should go into the building they proposed to erect, and the site it should occupy. There was no necessity to hear any further evidence on the subject, but the evidence which had been adduced ought to be collated by some competent body of men who would come to a satisfactory conclusion. They might see, in the case of the very building in which they were then assembled, the unfortunate consequences of which a rash choice in the site of a great building might be productive. Every one gifted with artistic taste must admire the great architectural beauty of the new Houses of Parliament, but must at the same time regret that so fine an edifice had been raised on so low a site, just along the border of the river, where it was necessary to pull down a bridge in order to render it visible from one quarter. He believed they ought to receive a warning from that mistake not to fall into an error of a similar character, with reference to the selection of a site for the new Art Gallery.
§ MR. CUBITT
said, he considered that the question which the House had to consider was what was the best site for a building for the preservation and enjoyment of works of art. Hyde Park the public would never consent to give up for such a purpose; the project could not be entertained for a single moment; the people would never submit to any diminution of the open spaces, even now too limitedly appropriated to the maintenance of public health. The decision then must be between the two other sites proposed, Kensington Gore and Kensington Palace. As to the latter, he doubted if they could get it; and with regard to the former, although the land was honestly worth the money that was paid for it, if it were abandoned he doubted whether they Would ever realise that sum. We should in all probability continue to receive contributions, donations and bequests of works of art from time to time, if we had the means of exhibiting 2125 them and properly taking care of them. To provide a proper receptacle for such a purpose a large space would be requisite, and the question, as he had just stated, appeared to be as between Kensington Palace and Kensington Gore. If there were the same amount of available space at Kensington Palace as at Kensington Gore, he confessed he should prefer that. But it was not so, while at Kensington Gore there was ample ground for all the purposes of a National Gallery. Another point of consideration was the convenience of the public. He might call himself one of the working class. He should like much to go often to see what was worthy of being seen in works of art. He should like every day to go to the Crystal Palace, but he was sorry to say that so great was the pressure upon his time that he had only been able to go there once during the present year, and if the National Gallery were placed at Kensington he very much feared he should not be able to visit it more frequently. But he could very often, when passing down the Strand, call in at the National Gallery at Charing Cross, and look at the pictures and works of art there. At the same time, to obtain ground enough for such a building as would afford a suitable receptacle for the national collection of works of art for an empire like this at Charing Cross was impossible. But why should they not retain something at Charing Cross which persons like himself might visit when they had a few minutes or half an hour to spare, and have a large supplementary exhibition at Kensington Gore, where those who studied art, and those who were not artists, but were admirers of art, might go occasionally and find such a collection of the works of the best masters as should be worthy of the country? Under all the circumstances he gave his opinion in favour of the Kensington Gore site, but at the same time he hoped that the establishment at Charing Cross would not be abandoned. He thought that in conjunction with the Royal Academy, who, he understood, were most anxious to retain their present apartments, there would be no difficulty in arranging for the continuance of a National Gallery of art there as he had suggested.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
said, that having been a Member of the Committee of 1853, he was unwilling to give a silent vote upon the question. That Committee, coinciding with previous Commissions, came to the almost unanimous conclusion that it was 2126 most desirable that the collection of pictures in the National Gallery should be removed from their present situation to one where the air would be purer and the influences of the atmosphere less deleterious. With regard to the spot to which the removal was to take place there was, however, a great diversity of opinion. But, after a full inquiry, in which they were assisted by the results of the labours of former Committees and Commissions, and by the evidence of artists and of persons acquainted with the habits of the working-classes of the metropolis, they came to the decided conclusion that the offer made to the public of acquiring, under very advantageous circumstances a portion of the ground possessed by the Commissioners for the Great Exhibition near Kensington Gore ought to be accepted, and that to that site the pictures might properly be transferred. The first point they had to consider was, whether any of the sites which had been suggested were open to the principal objection urged against the present site—namely, that it was exposed to the smoke and dirt of London. It would be a fatal error to go to the expense of removing the pictures without securing that, in the situation to which they were removed, they should not be exposed to injury not merely from smoke and dirt, but also from the deleterious influence of those gasworks, breweries, and distilleries, the tall chimneys of which were so numerous in the neighbourhood of London. But, on the other hand, if the pictures were removed too far from the metropolis the object of a National Gallery would be altogether frustrated. He should regret to see them placed in any position in which they were not perfectly accessible, not only to persons who were accustomed to use carriages and horses, but to the public at large and the working population in particular. Undoubtedly there were other sites besides Kensington Gore which in many respects were tempting enough. For instance, there was Hyde Park. No doubt a German architect, seeing a fine place vacant in the middle of Hyde Park, would ask—"Why not erect your building here?" But such a recommendation betrayed a want of knowledge of the feelings of the people, particularly of the people of London. There would be the greatest objection to any encroachment upon those parts of Kensington Gardens or of Hyde Park which were now open to the public. Some hon. Gentlemen had talked of the site of 2127 Kensington Palace, but that was too limited in extent, and, therefore, to have a proper building there the gardens of Kensington Palace must be largely encroached upon, and roads and approaches must also be made. In short, the nature of Kensington Gardens must be totally altered, and he, for one, should hold any advantage from a National Gallery being placed there dearly purchased by infringing on that space which was now open to all. When he heard Gentlemen talk of a taste for the fine arts, he must say that a man must be little sensible to beauty who did not derive as much satisfaction from the aspect of Kensington Gardens—which constituted not only the pride and ornament of the metropolis, but which, perhaps, formed the one thing they had to oppose to the rival attractions of Paris and other continental cities—as from a new building, stored with the finest masterpieces of antiquity, erected at a sacrifice of the peculiar features of the place. A most vigorous opposition had at first been made to the construction of even so temporary a building as the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, and that opposition had not been overcome until a distinct assurance had been given that the building should be pulled down as soon as ever it should cease to be wanted for its original purpose. The fact was, that the parks formed the finest and most pleasing spectacle in this metropolis; and no one, gifted with the slightest artistic feeling, could wish, under any circumstances, for their destruction. He alluded to these things to show that in reality the choice of sites was very limited, and it was brought before the consideration of the Great Exhibition Commissioners how little unoccupied space could be had for the purpose in view without infringing on the parks. The Commissioners, thinking it extremely desirable that there should be a site devoted to the purposes of the arts and sciences, and finding this space of ground in the neighbourhood of Kensington Gore, thought that they could not apply the surplus in their hands, amounting to £150,000, more usefully than by securing it for the public in future. That decision led to the subsequent offer made to the public, and thus the public had the benefit of the cheap acquisition of the ground for the proposed object. He could only say that his opinion remained unaltered, and he still thought, on reviewing all the circumstances of the case, no site was more unexceptionable than that of Kensington 2128 Gore. Though near London, it was out of the smoke of London, and there was abundant room there for a structure fit to contain a proper collection of pictures. He would, however, earnestly advise the House, whatever it did, not to encroach on the parks; therefore he trusted that the House would not sanction any proposal for the erection of a building, however beautiful, which should encroach on the parks or Kensington Gardens. The real object of the present Motion was to defeat the Bill which the Government had introduced. By that Bill the House was not asked to do more than to sanction the transfer of the land to the Government for the purpose of erecting a National Gallery. Undoubtedly it did pledge the House to the opinion that, under all the circumstances of the case, this site at Kensington Gore ought to be taken advantage of for the erection of that gallery. But for forming an opinion on that point there was ample information in the possession of the House, and there would be an opportunity afterwards for considering any plans for the building and investigating the estimates if the House should deem it necessary to refer them to a Select Committee.
§ MR. SPOONER
said, he should vote for the Motion of the noble Lord as a means of preventing the passing of the Bill. He was not prepared to sanction the removal of the National Gallery from the centre of the town, neither was he prepared to assent to the proposition that Kensington Gore was a proper site for the National Gallery. The hon. Member for Bath (Mr. Tite) had told the House that this proposition involved the expenditure of £1,000,000 of money, and he thought the House ought not rashly to enter upon such an expenditure without having the whole of the plans before it, and without being more satisfied of the eligibility of the proposed site than it could be at present. It was said to be desirable that the National Gallery should be removed out of the smoke and dirt of London; but as a near relative of his had formerly resided in Gore House, he could state that even before the buildings had increased so much as they had done of late in the neighbourhood, in the spring months, during the prevalence of the north-east winds, the dirt and dust were most severely felt on the site now proposed for the National Gallery. He publicly expressed, at the time, his disapprobation of the purchase at Kensington Gore made by Lord Derby's 2129 Government; and all that had since occurred confirmed him in the opinion that it was an improvident outlay of capital. Although his right hon. Friend (Mr. Disraeli) might call him a Vandal, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer might term him a Democrat—while the public finances showed a deficiency, and an income-tax was levied upon every man who had £100 a year, he would not consent to begin a large expenditure without some better information than the House at present possessed. In all buildings undertaken by the Government the estimates were invariably exceeded; and in the case of the Houses of Parliament they did not now know to a million or two what they would cost. The Government, ought to present a detailed plan, and he would then move a Resolution pledging the House not to pay a single farthing more than the estimate presented with it expressed.
§ LORD JOHN RUSSELL
said, it was rather difficult to say what was the immediate question before the House, because, if they were to judge by the speech of the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down, the question was whether they should spend any more money at all upon buildings for intellectual pursuits or the promotion of the fine arts. The hon. Gentleman seemed to think that the great increase of the Estimates ought to induce them to forbear voting any money for such purposes; but that was not the proposition of his noble Friend (Lord Elcho). On the contrary, from the suggestions thrown out by the noble Lord about St. James's Palace, Marlborough House, and Kensington Palace, he really believed that, if his noble Friend gained a majority, the House would be committed to a much greater expenditure than was now proposed by the Government. He took it for granted that if it appeared desirable to take one of the Royal Palaces, and Her Majesty—as no doubt she would-abstain from offering any objection, still they would not think of asking for one palace without furnishing Her Majesty with another in lieu of it. He recollected that upon a question which arose in the early part of his Administration, his hon. Friend the late Mr. Hume expressed a wish that another palace for the Queen should be built in Hyde Park. He represented the opinion of so eminent an economist as Mr. Hume to Her Majesty, but Her Majesty at once said she did not wish to put her people to further expense with respect 2130 to palaces; she should be quite content with Buckingham Palace with such additions as were necessary, and a largo palace at a great additional expense elsewhere would be not at all in accordance with her desires. With regard to the proposition before the House, he thought they had already had inquiry enough. There had been several Commissions and Committees, which had, either incidentally or directly, touched upon the subject, but none had come to any positive opinion, and he saw no reason why, if there were another Commission, that Commission would have any better chance of coming to a positive opinion than the others which had preceded it. The hon. Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. Spooner), wishing to defeat the scheme, inconsistently argued that Kensington Gore was infested with smoke so that all the pictures would be spoilt, and yet, at the same, time, he stated that it was too far removed from the centre of the town. If any change were made in the site they could hardly avoid incurring such objections. If the National Gallery remained near the present situation, it would obviously be exposed to smoke and influences deleterious to works of art, and if it were taken to any distance, those who wished to see the works of art would be subjected to great inconvenience. It would not do to go into either extreme. The picture gallery ought not to be placed exactly in the centre of the town, where it would be exposed to deleterious atmospheric influences, neither ought it to be at such a distance that it would be inconvenient for the public to visit it. Now, in his opinion, the situation of Kensington Gore exactly met both those requisites. It had the great advantage, too, of not being far removed from a great thoroughfare, and so far, therefore, as site was concerned he did not think they could do better, after all the inquiry which had been made, than fix upon that which had been recommended by the former Commission and by the last Committee. But after fixing the site came the further question—what was to be placed there? The hon. Member for Bath (Mr. Tite) had told the House with the authority that belonged to his opinion, to which he added that of several architects of eminence, both foreign and English, that a very beautiful architectural building might be raised upon the site of Kensington Gore, and any one who visited the site, particularly the south side, must acknowledge the justice of that opinion. 2131 Then came the question, what extent should be given to the National Gallery, and what sort of objects should be placed there? He quite agreed that, before commencing an expenditure which might be large, some decision ought to be arrived at as to what the gallery was to contain, so as to avoid a perpetual change of plan. It was therefore of considerable importance to decide whether the fine arts collection and the archælogical collection in the British Museum should be removed to the new National Gallery. His noble Friend who had made this Motion had put opinions into his (Lord J. Russell's) mouth on this subject which he did not remember ever to have expressed. He had never said that these collections ought to be removed, but he thought it was a subject upon which the opinions of a number of competent persons ought to be asked before any step was taken. The collections on the Continent were generally collections of fine arts, and, though it might be desirable to remove our fine arts collection and the archæological collection from the British Museum to the new gallery, he had never proposed that, because he believed there was room enough in the British Museum to hold all the collections which were now placed in it. These collections, too, illustrated each other in a manner most suitable for the student of books and the student of art. After mature deliberation he was not disposed to say that any of these collections ought to be moved, and, having once got these collections together, it would be, in his opinion, a great act of folly on the part of the Government and of Parliament to send the minerals to one place, the botanical specimens to another, the archaeology to a third, and the birds and beasts to a fourth. He therefore considered that it was not wise to have any further Commission appointed. It would be well to consider the Bill proposed by the Government, but before any vote of money was proposed it was to be hoped that the House would also well consider what it was which was to be built, and that the opinions of competent men, both in this country and on the Continent, should be taken on the whole subject. The hon. Member for North Warwickshire had said that we had no money to spend on such a building; but that, of course, would very much depend on the condition in which the country might be in two or three years time, and he cordially hoped that the report of the Chancellor of the Exchequer 2132 would be that we were very rich. At present the space in the National Gallery was far too small to hold the gifts which no doubt would be made to the nation if there were any place to put them, and therefore, as a mere matter of economy, it would assuredly be very desirable to have a larger building.
§ MR. GRANVILLE VERNON
agreed with the hon. Member for Bath that this subject ought to be considered as a whole. They ought not to decide rashly upon a site for the new National Gallery without having previously come to some decision as to what that gallery was intended to contain. They should avoid falling into the error which had been committed with regard to the British Museum, which had been built on a scale wholly inadequate to its requirements, the consequence of which was that fresh ground had to be purchased, and additions constantly made to the building quite inconsistent with its original plan. He would only very briefly notice the speech of the hon. Member for Huntingdon, who proposed to have two National Galleries—one on the present site, containing a selection of the best pictures,—and to have another supplementary collection of inferior works for idlers and artists His proposition appeared to be to keep the best pictures exposed to those influences which, it was supposed, were likely to deteriorate, if not to destroy them, and to send the artists, with the idlers, to study the inferior works of art as their models! He (Mr. Vernon) should support the Motion of his noble Friend, but he must take leave to dissent from some of his arguments. His noble Friend, in part of his speech, seemed to doubt whether the pictures need be moved from their present site, because, he argued, the pictures in private collections, though in the heart of the town, did not suffer. He (Mr. Vernon) denied that they did not suffer—but he still more denied that there was any analogy between the rarely-visited collections of a few individuals, and this public collection, exposed as it was to dust and effluvia of all sorts. Why, upon this point the Committee had been almost unanimous. Had the noble Lord changed his opinion? or, if not, what had been the meaning of his vote? The noble Lord suggested that glass ought to be put over all the pictures. He (Mr. Vernon) had little doubt, upon good authority, that glazing pictures was injurious to them to some extent. Pictures, like human beings, wanted free circulation 2133 of air—and, at any rate, the result would be, that when you looked at a picture thus protected, you would frequently see little else than the reflection of your own face. Surely, if once the necessity of covering the pictures with glass were admitted, a stronger argument was not needed in favour of removing them to some freer and purer atmosphere. He confessed that he should rejoice if the site of Kensington Palace should be found available for the purpose. One of the arguments used by the Secretary of State for the Colonies was, that the gardens would have to be cut up and roads made across them; but even if Kensington Gore were selected, a road would eventually have to be made to it from Bayswater across the gardens. His right hon. Friend had been eloquent, too, in defence and praise of Kensington Palace; but only twenty-five years ago an eminent architect had reported that it was not worth repairing, and he (Mr. Vernon) was informed that one of the first acts of the present active Chief Commissioner of Works was to direct that the Palace should be surveyed, which showed pretty clearly that there were screws loose somewhere—and he should like to know what had been the report made to the right hon. Gentleman. A very competent authority had stated to the previous Committee of 1850, that the present site of the National Gallery was the worst for the pictures, but the best for the convenience of the public. No doubt the convenience of the public was a very important consideration, but the preservation of the pictures themselves was of still higher importance; and it was, perhaps, better that the public should have further to go to see the pictures than that the pictures should be so injured as not to be worth seeing. The Government said with plausibility that they were only carrying out the recommendation of the Committee of 1853; but it must be borne in mind that that recommendation was of a peculiar character. It differed materially from ordinary suggestions of the same nature. Recommendation generally implies a preference; but in this case the majority of the Committee, assuming the choice of site to be limited to three or four spots in or about Kensington and Hyde Park, was impressed with the difficulty of formally recommending sites which were not, for obvious reasons, within their control, and therefore expressed themselves willing to accept the Kensington Gore site, though it 2134 was avowedly placed by them lowest in the scale. But his own (Mr. Vernon's) vote had been given in favour of Kensington Gore, only upon the express condition that these words should be introduced into the final paragraph—"If all the objections to the other sites should be found to be insuperable." It was, in fact, adopted as a pis aller. He (Mr. Vernon) could not admit that, because the purchase of the Kensington Gore estate had been, very judiciously no doubt, made, therefore necessarily it was to be adopted as a site; and he thought, at all events, they ought not to be bound hand and foot by the plans of the architect of the Board of Works. Among other sites which had been suggested to the Committee, there was one to which he must allude, as it was not, he believed, an unpopular one. He alluded to Regent's Park. They had been deterred from including the Regent's Park among the recommended sites, by certain very serious though not insurmountable difficulties. He believed that there was a clause or condition inserted in the leases of all the Houses round the Park to the effect that no building should be erected within the enclosure. The Secretary for the Colonies had laid great stress upon the impropriety of any encroachment on the parks, upon what he called the enjoyment of the parks by the people. Why, surely the right hon. Member (Mr. Labouchere) would not pretend to say that the substitution of a very handsome building for a very ugly one, available, moreover, for the enjoyment of the public, would not be a very great ornament to the Park, as well as a great general advantage. The whole subject was one which ought to be approached with great caution, and with deference to the feelings of the highest personage of the realm. The fittest instrument for the purpose would be a Royal Commission. Nothing would be lost by the delay of a few months. Let there be no more buildings constructed of stone so perishable as to require painting for their preservation—no more statues stuck crosswise upon arches which were not intended to support them. He hoped the noble Lord at the head of the Government would take a personal interest in the matter, and that the result might be that we should, after due consideration, construct an edifice which would be a lasting memorial of the liberality and good taste alike of the Sovereign, the Minister, and the Nation.
§ MR. DISRAELI
As I have been referred 2135 to several times in the course of this discussion, and as I had something to do with the transaction which has led to the present position in which the question before us is now placed, I hope the House will not consider it intrusive on my part if I ask permission to make a few observations. First of all I would endeavour to ascertain precisely the issue before us. We are not now going to decide whether the Bill introduced by Her Majesty's Ministers with reference to the National Gallery shall be read a second time, or whether we shall vote any money in order to forward the views of the Government. There is such a Bill upon our paper to-night, and when it comes on it will be competent to any hon. Gentleman to offer an opinion or to record his vote upon that issue. The question now before us is the Motion of the noble Lord the Member for Hadding-ton (Lord Elcho), calling upon the House to address Her Majesty, praying Her to issue a Royal Commission to determine the site of the new National Gallery, and to report on the desirableness of combining with it the fine art and archæological collections of the British Museum. After the numerous criticisms which have been made by so many hon. Gentlemen, I will dwell but briefly upon the question of a new National Gallery. I think it will pretty generally be admitted that a new National Gallery is necessary. There are, I know, some hon. Members who think that the present Gallery is a sufficient depository for the national pictures. The reasons which have been alleged against the suitableness of the present Gallery are various, and may not all be approved by every one. It is not necessary to enter into a discussion as to the deleterious influences of the atmosphere, or of other circumstances connected with the present site; but there is a broader view, which should not be absent from our consideration—I would almost say from our conviction at this moment—namely, the present depository of the national collection of pictures cannot he a permanent one, and that on the present site there is not space sufficient for the formation of a Gallery worthy of the future of a great country like England. Nor are there any practical means by which that deficiency can be supplied. You may expel the Royal Academy, and you will thereby extend the boundaries of the National Gallery; but I maintain that you will not even then have space at all adequate to its wants. Long before the 2136 present National Gallery was built there was a prevalent feeling in this country that some ample and adequate means ought to be supplied by the State for a collection of pictures worthy of the nation. This feeling was forced upon the country by the fact, that we were periodically losing magnificent collections which would otherwise have been given to the country. Before this Gallery was built we lost the Dulwich and the Fitzwilliam collections. Since the building of this Gallery we have lost other valuable collections, and at this moment there are other such collections which will not become the property of the country unless the nation be prepared to provide for them such accommodation as possessions of such rare value deserve. Can we be surprised at this when, within the last few years, two donations of invaluable works of art have been made to Great Britain, and the Government have been compelled to admit that it was not possible to accommodate these magnificent legacies? The Vernon collection was for a long time in a cellar, and the unrivalled pictures of Mr. Turner—pictures which in future days will vie in beauty, in value, and in reputation, with any which the artists of the middle ages have left to us—are still stowed away in some unknown corner, to the disgrace of the country and the great disadvantage of Her Majesty's subjects. I think, therefore, that I am not indulging in anything like exaggeration when I say that the prevalent feeling of the House and of the country is that a new National Gallery which shall afford adequate accommodation to those treasures of art which we possess, and which I trust we shall greatly increase, is necessary. Having arrived at that point, I need touch but very briefly upon those which have been already noticed in the course of the debate, and I shall refer to them only that it may not be supposed that I shrink from meeting the objections which have been urged. First, with regard to the site. Where is there a site upon which a National Gallery of adequate size can be erected? Upon this matter we have had prolonged researches, continued investigations, numerous suggestions. The most accomplished men have given their attention to the subject. The wisdom of Parliament has been bestowed upon it, and tonight we have heard from the noble Lord who introduced this question (Lord Elcho) a summary of all the alternatives which could be brought forward to meet the proposition 2137 of the Ministry. Now, I ask any hon. Gentleman who has listened to those proposals whether any one of them was a really practical or practicable suggestion? It is not necessary for me to go through the list; and it is only because there are Gentlemen present now, who may not have been here when the noble Lord addressed the House, that I venture to recall to the House what an extraordinary catalogue of expedients it was which was introduced by him to our notice. The great plans of the noble Lord might generally be ranked under two heads—destruction of Her Majesty's palaces, and appropriation of Her Majesty's parks. Indeed I listened with astonishment, which was only checked by a feeling which sometimes amounted to terror, while the noble Lord informed the House of the means by which adequate accommodation was to be found for an institution which of all others should form the manners, mitigate the habits, and elevate the tastes of the people. Why, Sir, it was not only a catalogue of confiscations, it was a catalogue of revolutions. Her Majesty's palace at Kensington was to be destoyed; Her Majesty's palace of St. James's was to be demolished; and, not content with outraging the hearth of Her Majesty, another Royal generation was brought forward as a victim to public taste, and the mansion of his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales—which we understand is now preparing for his advent—was also thrown into the caldron of destruction. How did we fare with regard to the parks? There used to be a story—which Members of Parliament cannot forget—that there was once a Sovereign who consulted his Prime Minister as to what would be the cost of appropriating one of the parks to his private use; and we all know what the answer was. But it seems that we live in happier days, and that the parks are no longer to be considered as the great sources of public health and public pleasure, but that sites in them are to be seized upon by a dilettante Committee of the House of Commons; and difficulties, which for a long series of years have perplexed the minds of the most thoughtful men, in the most responsible positions—questions, which, when they are more narrowly examined than they have been, I think, by the noble Lord, really involve interests of a much more important nature than the mere possession of a beautiful work of art—are to be settled in a moment. We are to have 2138 a fanciful gallery in one of the Parks, and the whole thing is to be settled in a month—which, if practical, would be very convenient. It is not necessary to criticise these plans. I shall come at once to that point in which there is a difference. I think the House has agreed that there is to be a new National Gallery, and that it will very generally agree that the suggestions thrown out by the noble Lord (Lord Elcho) are not practical and practicable ones. For instance, the suggestion of Kensington Palace. I do not think it is fair that we should discuss that proposal. It is not open to us to fix upon a palace of our Sovereign, and to say, this is a site which we will advise; it will give us all that is necessary, without duly considering the responsibilty of such advice. And when my hon. Friend the Member for Warwickshire tells us that by this Vote, to-night, we perhaps shall be entering upon a course of unlimited expense, I would remind my hon. Friend that, in supporting such a suggestion as that proposed by the noble Lord, he is, in fact, entering into an expenditure to which no person can draw a limit, and that by the selection of such a site, independently of the destruction of one of the Queen's palaces, which would involve a large expense by way of decent compensation for the outrage so calmly proposed to us, he would lead us to an expenditure infinitely greater in all probability than any Minister would call upon this House to sanction. Well, Sir, let us for a moment consider the site which has been suggested by Her Majesty's Ministers; for I can hardly say that it is formally before us, but which, in deference to the course of the debate, I look upon to be the issue now under consideration. What are the allegations brought against this site? No one denies that at least the atmosphere is pure as compared with that from which the pictures are to be taken. No one denies that it is a site which offers much ampler space. Some will say that its position is not so convenient. Well, that is a question for the House to discuss. When a public building is concerned—when a building to be dedicated to public purposes is in question, nothing is more difficult than to settle what is generally convenient. The hon. and worthy Alderman (Alderman Cubitt) who addressed us this evening told us what is a convenient site. A convenient site to him is Charing Cross. He lives near it, and when he goes into the 2139 city he has the advantage, if he likes, of looking into the National Gallery, and of refreshing his mind, and relieving it for a moment from the cares of business; with the aspect of some of those divine productions which are there deposited. But a person who does not live near Charing Cross would not consider that Trafalgar Square was the most convenient site. What we have to do, then, under such circumstances, is to see whether the site is, in the first place, adequately suited to the purpose, and, if that he the case, whether it is, generally, conveniently accessible to the great population of the metropolis. In the first place, then, I say, if Kensington Palace is the model site—and that appears to be the general opinion of those opposed to the proposal of the Minister—the grounds of controversy between those who are in favour of Kensington Gore and those who are in favour of Kensington Palace are extremely narrowed. The site of Kensington Gore is nearer than Kensington Palace; therefore, so far as all those who recommend the site of Kensington Palace are concerned, I think the issue is extremely narrowed. We are debating a question which concerns the future, and a long future. How are we, then—not rashly, not precipitately, not from our present habits and feelings—to decide what is the most capital site and the most commanding position for a building for such a purpose? At this moment there are great complaints from the learned societies that they have been disturbed in their position at Somerset House. They were invited to go to Kensington Gore; but they protested against the situation and against the distance. They have been accommodated at Burlington House; but I believe they would rather have remained at Somerset House. But 100 years ago, or less, the same learned societies protested against being insulated at that very House, and said it was very inconvenient to have to go so great a distance from their usual place of gathering, and to a place so remote from their residences, and from what was then the fashionable part of town. I remember when Belgrave Square was first planned the objections raised against that site. It was said that nobody could possibly go and live there; it was in the marshes, and nearly two miles from London; and that it was impossible that any person who took an interest in society and in the multifarious movements of this metropolis could live in 2140 that region. But we have lived to see, in a comparatively short space of time, a rich and splendid city formed there, and which is not so remote as that very spot which is so strongly recommended by many persons as the site of the new National Gallery. Let us see what is the character of the site at Kensington Gore. The soil of that spot, which has been described to be a marsh, we know by the evidence taken before the very Committee that sat upon the National Gallery, is a gravelly soil. The site which has been selected for the National Gallery, if the House sanctions that building, is an elevated spot. I therefore cannot understand, whether we look at the character of the soil, or at the character of the site, or at its distance from the metropolis—I cannot, I say, understand what sound objections can be urged against that particular spot. It is not so far as Kensington Palace, which those who oppose Kensington Gore prefer, but which they know it is impossible to obtain. In all probability it will be surrounded in time by a new town, and some may think will suffer from the same circumstance which has already proved so deleterious to the pictures in the present building—namely, from the atmosphere. But I will just observe, that from no probable circumstance can it be inconveniently close to any surrounding buildings. It will always have a space of 700 acres—the area of Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park—before it; and it will always have in its own gardens a considerable area free behind it. The houses which will rise in its vicinity will probably be houses of that high class that will never exercise upon this building that injurious influence which has been so generally acknowledged and expatiated upon. I do not see, therefore, so far as the proposed site is concerned, that these are objections which can be urged against it with any plausibility. But there is one point to be regarded in this case—where can you find a space sufficient for the purpose if you do not avail yourself of the offer before you? It would be delusive to indulge the idea of appropriating the Royal Palaces or of taking away the best sources of recreation from the people. Every man, therefore, who has studied the subject of providing a sufficient and adequate site for a public building of this kind, wants to know where it is possible to obtain an area of this extensive nature so advantageous as that which is before you. These are questions which 2141 ought fairly to be answered by those Gentlemen who interfere so much with the settlement of this question; because I apprehend that the question as to where our National Gallery is to be placed, and the building of a National Gallery, is of very pressing necessity. These points, therefore, ought to be taken into mature consideration. If we are to have another Royal Commission which is to enter into every wild suggestion that might be made, years may be lost before the result of that Commission can be laid before the House. I need not dwell upon what would be the probable result of such a proceeding. Every hon. Gentleman can form an estimate of that; but no bon. Gentleman can form an estimate of the injuries which we should be doing in the meantime. I would oppose the Motion of the noble Lord, so far as it proposes an Address to the Crown to retard a decision of this House with regard to a site for a National Gallery, upon the more merits of the question, and upon his own statement an obvious answer to which must occur to every one. But I confess I oppose it upon another ground, and one which has great influence upon me in the course I feel it my duty to take. The noble Lord has referred to what he calls the industrial scheme, which was intended to be carried into effect upon this area, the grounds of which scheme to a certain degree I was instrumental in bringing before the House for its consideration. The hon. Member for Warwickshire on this, as on every occasion, with stern consistency has taken every opportunity of depreciating that which the noble Lord calls the industrial scheme. But I may remind my hon. Friend the Member for Warwickshire, who seems offended that I should have called him a Vandal, that in the first place, if I did make such an observation it was not in debate, but in the confidence of friendship. It was entirely a private communication. I would also say to my hon. Friend as an extenuating circumstance, that there have been very great men who were Vandals; but I would not seriously have applied that term to my hon. Friend, who is one of the most consistent and one of the most influential opponents of that which the noble Lord calls the industrial scheme at Kensington Gore. I would remind my hon. Friend that his opinions are not shared upon the subject by those among whom he lives, and once had the honour of representing; because I remember that the district which first placed 2142 itself in communication with the Royal Commission and expressed the most lively and complete sympathy with those principles which that Commission was designed to promulgate, and which I believe to be calculated greatly to elevate the taste, knowledge, and fortunes of the people of this country, was the town of Birmingham, That great community of 200,000 persons and the inhabitants of the surrounding district applied to the Royal Commissioners for advice respecting plans of their own devising for the promotion of a knowledge of practical art and science among their fellow countrymen; and in consequence of that movement the Birmingham and Midland Institute—an association which does honour to the enterprise of Englishmen—was founded. The landowners of the neighbourhood subscribed, if I recollect rightly, the sum of £10,000 for the site of this institution; and the people of Birmingham and its vicinity meeting them with reciprocal liberality, such an impetus was given to education in practical science and art in that locality, as makes me think that in the county of Warwick my hon. Friend will find no sympathy for the opinions which he has so scrupulously advocated in this House. But I wish hon. Members calmly to consider the grounds on which I shall venture to oppose the Motion of the noble Lord. I cannot help regarding the Motion as an attempt to rescind the policy introduced to the notice of this House in 1852, and which was the consequence of the Great Exhibition of the year preceding. I can assure hon. Gentlemen that there are involved in this subject considerations far higher than the mere dilettante sentiments that have entered into this debate. Let me recall for a moment the circumstances under which the Great Exhibition of 1851 took place; but before doing so, I may, perhaps, briefly remind the House of the manner in which the proposition for establishing that Exhibition was received in this country—of the suspicion, of the jealousy, the cavil, the constant opposition from almost all classes which its first announcement encountered. It was looked upon as a design to injure the industry of this country. ["No!"] The hon. Gentleman who cries "No" has not, perhaps, seen, as I have, the public memorials presented to that effect; he cannot possess, as I do, a collection of the squibs and pasquinades written upon the subject; he forgets, which I do not, that 2143 at the last moment a Peer of Parliament, holding one of the highest offices of State, moved the Upper House, I believe, even when the building had been raised, to prevent its being opened. It was with the greatest difficulty that the Great Exhibition was established. Those who promoted it were obliged to apply to private individuals to guarantee even the expense of the structure. Remembering all this, I ask the House to reflect on the vast and beneficial influence which that Exhibition has exercised on the industry of the country, and to contrast the feelings with which it was originally welcomed with the public sentiment which the retrospect of it now inspires. I however mention this only in passing. What I want the House to consider—and it is a point the importance of which cannot he exaggerated—is this. What was the cause of that memorable Exhibition which has given a tone to Europe, and produced such extensive effects on our manners and our industry? It had been known for a long period to men of study and experience, that the industry of England was about to encounter not only a severe, but, as those capable of forming an accurate judgment believed, a fearful and increasing competition. Under those circumstances Parliament thought fit (and I state the historical fact without now questioning the wisdom of your counsels) to change the whole commercial policy of the country. The productions of England were brought into competition with foreign productions, not merely in your colonial, but even in your home markets. These things were known to philosophers and to statesmen—they were discussed in literary treatises and in solemn councils; but the people of England—the most industrious and ingenious people in the world—were not aware of the fact that, with the exception of a better command of the raw material, there was no single point in which their industry was superior to that of the foreigner. How could they be taught this? Only by inviting to our capital all the specimens of the ingenuity and invention of other nations—by collecting under one roof all the raw materials, mineral, vegetable, and animal, which supplied the processes and manufactures of our rivals. And it was necessary by an exhibition of this kind to convey a great lesson to the most manufacturing community in the world. The consequence of the Great Exhibition of 1851, when it had experienced its immense 2144 success and its results were recognised, was that those who had undertaken it, fortified by public opinion, and supported by all statesmen of all parties who were cognisant of the condition of the country, arrived at the conclusion that some decisive measures ought to be taken by which an education in practical art and science should be given to our working classes, so that they might be enabled to maintain the ancient supremacy of their skill and defy the effects of that fearful competition which, if successful, would have proved so injurious to our wealth and our reputation. It was felt to be necessary, therefore, to establish a great institution of art and science in this country, in spite of prejudice so strong and obstacles so formidable, that they could never have been overcome, unless those who undertook this difficult task had been animated by a paramount sense of duty. Let the House only consider what has already been achieved under this head. Before the year of the Great Exhibition, you certainly had a partial system of education in practical art in this country, but it was very limited in its character and very slight in its resources. You had twenty local schools of design in a certain degree dependent on a central authority. That was the foundation you had to build upon; and on this basis, since the Exhibition of 1851, you have established a Metropolitan School of practical Art, an invaluable Museum of practical Art, and no less than 700 local and parochial schools of practical art in connection with the metropolitan school. So far as practical science is concerned you had nothing to build upon. Yon have now, however, in London, a school and museum of practical science, and you are establishing corresponding institutions in every part of England. You wanted space for these establishments. Hon. Gentlemen talk with great coolness about sites. They are ready to vote the public money, and wisely so, to encourage scientific collections; but let the House of Commons night after night vote what funds it may, it will produce no effect while you have no buildings in which to place those collections. The truth is, that until this moment, you have never had the space offered you on which the required building could be erected. You have, indeed, buildings and schools in obscure streets and disadvantageous situations—none of them aggregated, but all scattered about—one in one place, and another in another—and 2145 the whole from mere want of union producing the smallest possible result at the largest cost. The idea was, therefore, formed, that you should obtain the first indispensable requisite for imparting a complete education in practical science and practical art to the workmen of England—namely, the space on which the necessary buildings should be collected together; and that there you should concentrate the various museums and schools now dispersed throughout the metropolis. An hon. Gentleman talked of destroying Marl-borough House—does he know how it is occupied at the present moment? Through the kindness of Her Majesty, in that establishment you have now a school and museum of art in which the men are educated who are to be the future teachers of England, and from which—as from a metropolitan centre—accomplished and capable instructors are sent to the chief seats of our manufacturing industry. In another situation you have a school of science—a place by no means adequate to the occasion, in which experiments in agricultural chemistry are made by men who have produced, and will continue to produce, the greatest effects upon that important branch of industry. It was thought advisable that some attempt should be made to bring all these museums and schools together, in order that it might be understood that a great though gradual change in the condition of the country was at last recognised by its rulers, and that it might be seen that practical science and practical art are, to the working community of these kingdoms, quite as important as those political and civil rights which we have so long enjoyed and which we so highly prize. Now, I ask the House, how is this to be done? How are you to produce an effect upon the opinion of a nation, if you admit practical art and science to be most valuable necessities, unless you place them in such a position that their importance must be recognised by the country? You have placed your political institutions and your great offices of State in buildings which show to the country that you have recognised their paramount importance; and, when you place your museums and your schools of practical art and science upon this great site of eighty or ninety acres, when you resolve that the raw material shall no longer be an abstraction to the people of this country, but that it shall be seen in all its forms in your museums—when you determine that your 2146 working men shall have opportunities of instruction in those processes which will enable them to acquire the powers of design and colour—matters in which they are now surpassed by foreign artists—I ask you, where can you find a better locality than this? And why should the gallery of galleries, the National Gallery, be wanting in such a situation? When you are seeking to educate a nation in art, and when you have a site at your command, why should not the National Gallery of the people be the crowning ornament of the scene? There is nothing more fallacious, nothing more shortsighted—nay, I will say there is nothing more mean and sordid, than to suppose that you can raise and refine the taste of a people by second-rate models and by second-rate means. Her Majesty's Ministers have recommended that in the place to which in time you will attract all the sympathies, the curiosity, and the conscious pride of the community, you should also raise your National Gallery; and I am of opinion that that is a wise and proper recommendation. I should entertain the same opinion if there were sites that could be placed in competition with it; but as no more eligible position can be suggested, and as this magnificent site is available, I think it most desirable that amid your museums and schools of science and art you should raise, as a crowning and consecrating ornament of the scene, the Gallery of the Nation. I believe you would thus produce an immense effect upon the public mind; that you would raise and refine the taste of the country; that you would give an impulse to the national spirit that would enable our artisans to meet successfully the competition they have to encounter; and, above all, that you would add weight to the central authority which must regulate and guide all the local schools of design. These are considerations which I think we ought to bear in mind; and when we are told, as we were told to-night, by the noble Lord, that the National Gallery is to be distinguished from what he sneeringly called the industrial scheme of the Royal Commissioners—
§ LORD ELCHO
I beg pardon for interrupting the right hon. Gentleman. I totally deny having sneered at the industrial scheme.
§ MR. DISRAELI
Well, at what the noble Lord, without a sneer, styled the industrial scheme of the Royal Commissioners—I would take the liberty of impressing 2147 upon the noble Lord and upon the House that, in a full and fair development of that industrial scheme—namely, the complete education of the people of this country in practical art and science—are involved the future wealth and welfare of this community.
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
Sir, some subjects have been adverted to in the course of this debate which I wish the House to keep entirely out of their consideration in the vote they are about to give. We have been told by some hon. Gentlemen that this is the first step towards the expenditure of £1,000,000; and the question has been argued as if the Bill of Her Majesty's Government involved a large expenditure of money. Sir, the vote is no such thing, the object of that Bill, which is really and substantially the topic now under discussion, is, on the contrary, to enable the public to accept a present. Other hon. Gentlemen have argued that this is a question of taste, that we ought not precipitately to adopt a plan which may lead us to imitate errors that have previously been committed, and that the House ought to pause before it assents to the proposition of the Government. But the House, Sir, is not called upon to adopt any plan; on the contrary, all we propose is, that the House should accept a site for a building that may be erected at some future time; but what shall be the form or the extent of that building, what shall be its ornaments or its arrangements, or what shall be the expense of its construction, must be the subjects of subsequent deliberation in this House; and the House will not pledge itself upon any one of these topics by adopting the Bill which has been introduced by the Government. When we are told that former transactions with reference to public buildings justify my noble Friend (Lord Elcho) in recommending another Commission of Inquiry; and when we are told, as we have been, that we ought to take warning from the example of the edifice in which we are now assembled, I would remind hon. Gentlemen that this great building was the result of many Commissions and Committees. I think, therefore, that the multiplication of Commissions is not a very happy remedy for the evils my noble Friend desires to avoid. The starting point from which we ought to proceed has been accurately described by the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down. It is simply this:—Is it fitting 2148 that we should continue to lodge the national collection of pictures in the building in which they are now contained? Why, Sir, I think no man who reflects upon the subject would entertain that opinion. The present building is objectionable on account of its situation: it is too small even for the collection of pictures we possess; it cannot be extended in such a manner as to afford accommodation for pictures which may either be purchased or accepted as gifts; and, as has been well pointed out by the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire, not only have we lost most valuable collections, which might have been the property of the nation if a fitting place had been provided for their reception, but we have now collections which have been given to the country which it is impossible to exhibit because our gallery is not sufficiently capacious for the purpose. An hon. Gentleman—I think the hon. Member for North Warwickshire—suggested that the National Gallery might be enlarged by turning out the exhibition of the Royal Academy. [Mr. SPOONER expressed his dissent.] I am glad my hon. Friend has not proved himself to be a Vandal by encouraging such a proposition; for I think any one who made a suggestion of that nature would really deserve that application of the term which the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli) has endeavoured to explain away. Is it, I would ask, no national object that we should have a proper place in which the Royal Academy may exhibit the annual productions of the art and genius of this country? Is it no national object that that place should be large enough to receive all the contributions that deserve to be so exhibited? Why, at the present time about 1,700 pictures are annually refused admission to the Royal Academy for no other reason than that there is not space enough for their exhibition. I may be told that many of these pictures are not deserving of admission; but of this I am certain, that there are many of them also which possess great merit, and which would, I believe, attract public admiration. All other national exhibitions afford accommodation for the productions of artists of foreign countries, but from our exhibition the works of any but native artists are almost entirely excluded. Here and there we see by accident, as it were, the picture of a foreign artist, but is it not desirable that our exhibition should afford room for the works 2149 of foreign artists, which, may come into competition with those of our own countrymen? Who that has ever gone into the dungeon in which the works of sculptors are exhibited in our National Gallery does not blush for his country? There you have works of genius so crowded together, like images upon the hoards of Italians in the street, that schoolboys long for an opportunity of smashing them. I am sure any Englishman who has visited the galleries of art abroad, and who compares them with those of his own country, must be ashamed at the contrast, and must earnestly desire that better means should be provided for exhibiting the productions of modern genius and the works of ancient masters. Then, I say, that that National Gallery ought to be given up to the purpose of the Royal Academy for the study of art, for the display of modern works, and for those other objects to which they would apply it. But if we are to move our national collection of pictures from the place where they now are, where are they to go? My noble Friend the Member for Haddingtonshire (Lord Elcho), like Cælebs in search of a wife, has wandered forth in search of a site to all the different places where his imagination led him, and at last he met with a mirage which induced him to believe there was a swamp at the site now recommended. Why, that is as deceitful as the mirage which the traveller thinks he falls in with as he passes over the sands of Egypt; there is no foundation whatever for the apprehension which haunts my noble Friend. Let us, however, examine the sites which he proposes. In number they are about a dozen or more. Those sites may be classed in three divisions. Some of them are liable to all the objections which apply to the present site; they are in the town and would be equally exposed, with the present gallery, to the smoke and dirt of London. What, for instance, should we gain by removing the gallery from one end of Pall Mall to the other? Then my noble Friend comes to the parks and palaces. He has offered to him a free gift in the site now proposed—a site which the country has only to accept; but he is not contented with that; he refuses the gift, and says, "I am determined either to rob the public of those places of air and recreation which they at present possess, or I will take from the Crown the palaces which belong to it." Now, I repudiate altogether those proposals. 2150 I put out of the question the encroachments upon the parks, because I feel sure if any Government could be found which would advise the Crown to allow such encroachments, there would be a burst of public indignation which would totally prevent any scheme of the sort from being carried into execution. We all remember the violent opposition which has always been raised to any such encroachments upon places which are preserved for the use and enjoyment of the people. But then we are told that a handsome building might be erected which would be an ornament to the parks. No doubt such a building might be erected, but we are not talking about ornamenting the parks; our object should rather be to consider how we are to preserve them for the purposes for which they are designed. With regard to the parks and Kensington, Gardens, therefore, I put these sites altogether out of view. My noble Friend in an easy good-humoured way talks of sweeping away St. James's Palace and Marl-borough House and sending the Prince of Wales to Burlington House. Now, I think any man, whether he be prince, peer, or commoner, who had the good fortune to own Marlborough House would pause a long time before accepting the transfer to Burlington House. The two situations are by no means equally desirable, and yet my noble Friend talks of sweeping away the Prince's future residence and erecting fanciful fabrics in its stead. He reminds me of the German baroness who was so fond of planting that she cut down whole forests to enable her to gratify her taste; or of the lady in the Arabian Nights who was so anxious to exchange Aladdin's old lamp for a new one—there being this additional point of resemblance, that the exchange, so unprofitable to Aladdin, would also involve us in an enormous expenditure. There would be the compensation you would have to give the Crown for these existing buildings; there would be the expense of erecting fresh palaces and of the buildings you would erect on, the sites thus obtained; and, in short, such a proposal seems to be altogether inadmissible. The real question which the House has to consider is, I take it, not whether the present National Gallery is to be removed, because I look upon that as a settled point—not whether a new National Gallery is to be erected in Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Pall Mall, or on the site of Marlborough, House, or St. 2151 James's Palace. The real question is whether you will remove the National Gallery to the site now proposed, or whether, contrary to the opinion of all those whose opinion is entitled to consideration, you are determined to continue it in the inconvenient, insufficient, and, to works of art, dangerous building in which the national collection of pictures now are kept. Sir, the choice is between this ground or none. I see no other spot within reach of visitors who wish to see this collection; I see no other site but this to which it is possible to transfer the gallery; and when my hon. Friend the Member for Newark (Mr. G. Vernon) asks me whether the Government have deliberately considered this question, and, I think, rather made his vote depend upon the answer which may be returned, I claim his vote upon that very ground, because the Government have deliberated upon the subject. After full consideration, Sir, I am prepared to say that we do not see our way to any other site for the National Gallery, and we do think it is not fitting either that the collections of pictures we have, or those we may hereafter have, should continue in the building in which they are now placed. I do therefore hope that the House will not be led away by the vivid imagination of my noble Friend (Lord Elcho), or by the romantic march he has taken to a number of impossible and impracticable sites, but that hon. Members will consider the real question at issue—namely, not whether we should determine to launch into that enormous expense in construction, which has been alluded to as now awaiting decision—not whether we, will adopt any particular plan, but whether we will accept a site which is of sufficient capacity to allow of its application to all those purposes for which it may hereafter be required—a site which the country may receive at present without any further expense, and as to which, when accepted, Parliament remains perfectly free to determine to what purposes it shall be applied, to what extent buildings shall be constructed, what shall be their form and character, and what shall be the expense incurred in carrying out these desirable objects.
§ MR. LOCKE
said, he might have been contented with giving a silent vote upon the present occasion had it not been for the observations he had heard in the course of the discussion. However, it was his intention only to trouble the House for a few 2152 moments. He did not pretend to say that he had formed a very strong opinion in favour of Kensington Palace as against Kensington Gore, because he thought there were circumstances connected with the removal of the pictures from Charing Cross to one or other of those sites which must first of all be taken into consideration. It was not for him to say whether it had been satisfactorily established that pictures had deteriorated in the present building, and that therefore they must necessarily be removed from their present situation; but he would remark that those who made this proposition for the removal of the Gallery to Kensington Gore did not seem to remember that that site must become gradually as fitted for building on as others. In a few years there would probably not be a piece of vacant ground between the site now fixed upon and the river at Chelsea; and was it, then, worth while to remove the pictures to Kensington Gore, owing to an alleged deterioration from their continuance in town—a point which he confessed, notwithstanding all that had been said on the subject, he was not yet prepared to look upon as established? But, though he had not a very decided opinion as between the two sites he had referred to, he must confess he thought that in the course which was originally traced out by the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Disraeli), they had laid the foundation for mischief of which they had not yet seen the end. He believed, moreover, that that foundation had been laid upon false premises. Having studied the character of his countrymen, and having had the opportunity of comparing their works with those of foreigners, he must confess that he had not come to the conclusion that it was necessary to treat a workman as a child, and to adopt for his benefit that centralising system which the right hon. Gentleman seemed to have in his mind. He had himself, in the year 1852, stated that he did not agree in the low estimate that had been formed of the character of Englishmen by some hon. Gentlemen opposite, nor that the perfection of mechanical skill was due to the Governmental schools. He had a great faith in the individual energy of the country, and if they established central schools they would, he feared, lessen the individual exertion which had been the mainstay of the mechanical industry of the country. He had no objection to grants of money for buildings for the exhibition of our excellent works of art; but 2153 if it were intended to introduce central schools by which degrees were to be established, so that individuals out of the pale of those schools might be marked—what he more particularly wished to call attention to was the centralising system in France, where the Ecole Polytechnique had been established, out of which there was no opportunity for any individual, however great his merit-he felt bound to raise his voice the moment the question was introduced; and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, said that he (Mr. Locke) had made a startling assertion, without any foundation, to raise an argument against the Vote. The right hon. Gentleman went on to say, that "he could assure the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Locke) that he (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) had heard, for the first time, the statement respecting this scheme, and he could say with perfect confidence that it was an assertion for which there was not the slightest imaginable foundation." The speech of the right hon. Gentleman that evening had been enough to justify the statement which he had made in 1852, and to show that something was impending which Parliament ought not to permit, and against which he wished to enter his protest.
§ LORD ELCHO
said, he very much regretted that he had no right of reply, because nearly everything which he had stated had been misrepresented by the opponents of his Motion. He had not proposed that the natural history collection should be given to the Zoological Society, but that it should be placed somewhere near the gardens of the society; nor had he stated that thirteen Commissions or Committees had been appointed on the subject of the National Gallery. He had not wished to convey to the House that he was opposed to what the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Disraeli) called the industrial scheme, but he had endeavoured to draw a distinction between a scheme which had been supported by the late Mr. Hume, and that which the right hon. Gentleman called a National Gallery of the people; and he considered that the subject involved a much larger question than the mere choice of a site.
§ MR. DISRAELI
said, he must beg to explain that the statement quoted by the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Locke) had reference to schools of art and science, which were included in the Miscellaneous Estimate, for which the hon. Gentleman voted.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided:—Ayes 145; Noes 154: Majority 9.
|List of the AYES.|
|Acton, J.||Grosvenor, Lord R.|
|Bailey, C.||Guinness, R. S.|
|Baines, rt. hon. M. T.||Gwyn, H.|
|Baldock, E. H.||Hall, rt. hon. Sir B.|
|Ball, E.||Hamilton, Lord C.|
|Baring, rt. hn. Sir F. T.||Hamilton, G. A.|
|Barnes, T.||Hankey, T.|
|Barrow, W. H.||Hardinge, hon. C. S.|
|Bennet, P.||Headlam, T. E.|
|Berkeley, F. W. F.||Heard, J. I.|
|Bernard, Visct.||Heathcote, hon. G. H.|
|Bethell, Sir R.||Heneage, G. F.|
|Bonham-Carter, J.||Hervey, Lord A.|
|Bouverie, rt. hn. E. P.||Higgins, Col, O.|
|Brand, hon. H.||Horsman, rt. hon. E.|
|Brocklehurst, J.||Hughes, W. B.|
|Brotherton, J.||Hughes, H. G.|
|Bruce, Lord E.||Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H.|
|Buller, Sir J. Y.||Jolliffe, H. H.|
|Butt, G. M.||Labouchere, rt. hon. H|
|Byng, hon. G. H. C.||Langton, H. G.|
|Cardwell, rt. hon. E.||Lennox, Lord H. G.|
|Castlerosse, Visct.||Lewis, rt. hn. Sir G. C.|
|Chambers, T.||Littleton, hn. E. R.|
|Clay, Sir W.||Lowe, rt. hon. R.|
|Clifford, H. M.||M'Cann, J.|
|Clive, hon. R. W.||MacGregor, John|
|Cobbold, J. C.||Malins, R.|
|Cockburn, Sir A. J. E.||Massey, W. N.|
|Cocks, T. S.||Milligan, R.|
|Colvile, C. R.||Milnes, R. M.|
|Cowan, C.||Michell, W.|
|Cowper, rt. hon. W. F.||Moffatt, G.|
|Crossley, F.||Monck, Visct.|
|Cubitt, Mr. Aid.||Moncrieff, rt. hon. J.|
|Davie, Sir H. R. F.||Monsell, rt. hon. W.|
|Davies, D. A. S.||Morris, D.|
|Disraeli, rt. hon. B.||Naas, Lord|
|Drumlanrig, Visct.||Napier, rt. hon. J.|
|Duncan, Visct.||O'Brien, J.|
|Dunne, M.||Osborne, R.|
|Ewart, W.||Paget, Lord A.|
|Ewart, J. C.||Pakingtou, rt. hn. Sir J.|
|Farrer, J.||Palmer, R.|
|Fergus, J.||Palmerston, Visct.|
|Ferguson, Col.||Peel, Sir R.|
|FitzGerald, Sir J.||Peel, F.|
|FitzGerald, rt. hon. J. D.||Pellatt, A.|
|FitzRoy, rt. hon. H.||Pennant, hon. Col.|
|Forster, C.||Price, W. P.|
|Freestun, Col.||Pritchard, J.|
|Gallwey, Sir W. P.||Repton, G. W. J.|
|Galway, Visct.||Ricardo, O.|
|Glyn, G. C.||Ricardo S.|
|Goddard, A. L.||Ridley, G.|
|Gower, hon. F. L.||Robartes, T. J. A.|
|Graham, rt. hon. Sir J.||Rolt, P.|
|Graham, Lord M. W.||Russell, F. C. H.|
|Gregson, S.||Sawle, C. B. G.|
|Grenfell, C. W.||Seymour, H. D.|
|Greville, Col. F.||Shelburne, Earl of|
|Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.||Smith, rt. hon. R. V.|
|Grey, R. W.||Smith, A.|
|Steel, J.||Whitmore, H.|
|Stephenson, R.||Wickham, H. W.|
|Tancred, H. W.||Wilkinson, W. A.|
|Taylor, Col.||Wilson J.|
|Thornely, T.||Wood, rt. hon. Sir J.|
|Trollope, rt. hon. Sir J.||Wrightson, W. B.|
|Vernon, L. V.||Wyndham, H.|
|Villiers, rt. hon, C. P.||Wynne, rt. hon. J.|
|Walpole, rt. hon. S. H.||Hayter, W. G.|
|Warren, S.||Mulgrave, Earl of|
|List of the NOES.|
|Alcock, T.||Hastie, Alex.|
|Annesley, Earl of||Hildyard, R. C.|
|Antrobus, E.||Hindley, C.|
|Archdall, Capt. M.||Holland, E.|
|Baillie, H. J.||Hotham, Lord|
|Baxter, W. E.||Howard, hon. C. W. G.|
|Beamish, F. B.||Hutt, W.|
|Beaumont, W. B.||Ingham, R.|
|Bell, J.||Irton, S.|
|Black, A.||Johnstone, J.|
|Blackburn, P.||Jones, Admiral|
|Bramley-Moore, J.||Kershaw, J.|
|Bramston, T. W.||King, hon. P. J. L.|
|Bruce, Major C.||Kingscote, R. N. F,|
|Bruce, H. A.||Kinnaird, hon. A. F.|
|Buck, Col.||Knatchbull, W. F.|
|Burghley, Lord||Knox, Col.|
|Cairns, H. M'C.||Langston, J. H.|
|Campbell, Sir A. L||Langton, W. G.|
|Cavendish, hon. C. C.||Lee, W.|
|Cayley, E. S.||Liddel, hon. H. G.|
|Cecil, Lord R.||Locke, J.|
|Chambers, M.||Lockhart, W.|
|Cheetham, J.||Macartney, G.|
|Craufurd, E. H. J.||MacEvoy, E.|
|Davies, J. L.||MacGregor, James|
|Deasy, R.||M'Mahon, P.|
|De Vere, S. E.||Maguire, J. F.|
|Devereux, J. T.||Marjoribanks, D. C.|
|Dillwyn, L. L.||Maxwell, hon. Col,|
|Duncan, G.||Meagher, T.|
|Duncombe, hon. A.||Miall, E.|
|Dundas, G.||Mitchell, T. A.|
|Dunlop, A. M.||Montgomery, Sir G.|
|Dunne, Col.||Moore, G. H.|
|East, Sir J. B.||Morgan, O.|
|Egerton, E. C.||Mowbray, J. R.|
|Ellice, E.||Mundy, W.|
|Euston, Earl of||Murrough, J. P.|
|Evelyn, W. J.||Napier, Sir C.|
|Farnham, E. B.||Neeld, J.|
|Fielden, M. J.||Newdegate, C. N.|
|Fenwick, H.||Norreys, Sir D. J.|
|Ferguson, J.||North, Col.|
|Floyer, J.||North, F.|
|Foley, J. H. A.||Oakes, J. H. P.|
|Forster, J.||O'Brien, P.|
|Fox, W. J.||O'Brien, Sir T.|
|George, J.||Ossulston, Lord|
|Gifford, Earl of||Otway, A. J.|
|Goderich, Visct.||Parker, R. T.|
|Greenall, G.||Pechell, Sir G. B.|
|Greene, J.||Phillimore, J. G.|
|Greene, T.||Phillimore, R. J.|
|Grosvenor, Earl||Portal, M.|
|Hadfield, G.||Pugh, D.|
|Handcock, hon. Capt. H.||Ramsden, Sir J. W.|
|Hardy, G.||Robertson, P. F.|
|Roebuck, J, A.||Talbot, C. R. M.|
|Russell, F. W.||Tempest, Lord A. V.|
|Sandars, G.||Thompson, G.|
|Scholefield, W.||Thornhill, W. P.|
|Scobell, Capt.||Tite, W.|
|Seymer, H. K.||Tollemache, J.|
|Shee, W.||Tottenham, C.|
|Shelley Sir J. V.||Vance, J.|
|Sheridan, R. B.||Vansittart, G. H.|
|Shirley, E. P.||Vivian, H. H.|
|Sibthorp, Major||Walcott, Adm.|
|Smith, J. B.||Walter, J.|
|Smith, M. T.||Watkins, Col. L.|
|Smith, W. M.||Williams, W.|
|Smollett, A.||Willoughby, Sir H.|
|Somerville, rt. hn. Sir W.||Wise, J. A.|
|Spooner, R.||Woodd, B. T.|
|Stanhope, J. B.||TELLERS.|
|Stracy, Sir H. J.||Wells, W.|
|Stuart, Capt.||Vernon, G. E. H.|
said, he would beg to ask whether, as the numbers were so equally balanced in the division which had just taken place, it would not be a good opportunity for adopting the suggestion thrown out the other evening by the right hon. Member for Carlisle, that Addresses to the Crown should be referred to a Committee to be prepared, by which means the opinion of the House could again be taken on them?
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
said, that he thought that the proposition of his right hon. Friend was well deserving of attention, but he did not consider that it would be desirable to apply it until the House had deliberately adopted it.
§ Words added.
§ Main Question, as amended, put, and agreed to.
§ Address to be presented by Privy Councillors.