HC Deb 23 April 1861 vol 162 cc985-6

said, he rose to ask the First Commissioner of Works, Whether the Statue of Sir Henry Havelock has been erected in Trafalgar Square with his consent; and, if so, whether, before such consent was obtained, the cast or a model of the statue, and the design for the pedestal, were duly submitted to and approved by him?


said, that if he were to answer the words of that question in their strict grammatical sense he should state that he doubted exceedingly whether that illustrious individual would have given his consent to the erection of such statue. But as his hon. Friend probably wished to know whether the statue had been erected with the consent of the First Commissioner of Works, he was happy to be able to inform him that that consent was given at the end of the year 1857, and that the model of the statue and of the pedestal had been approved by his predecessor in the beginning of the year 1858. All he could say for himself was that when he was asked to give the necessary orders for placing the statue he strongly objected to the form of the pedestal which had been adopted. He took the liberty of representing to Mr. Behnes, the sculptor, and the committee of subscribers that the pedestal was much too high for the position it was to occupy. Not only was the pedestal not very good in form, but from its extreme height it placed the statue in a position where it was not very well seen, and, when viewed in front, it diminished in proportion the height of the National Gallery, which was already quite low enough. Mr. Behnes, the sculptor, did not agree with him in those views, neither did the committee. They were perfectly well satisfied with the work and with having had the consent of his predecessor that the pedestal and statue should conform to that of Sir Charles Napier. Therefore he had himself no part whatever in the erection of the statue and pedestal to which his hon. Friend referred.