HC Deb 28 June 1861 vol 164 cc44-6

said, he had on the Paper a Notice to ask the First Commissioner of Works, When he will submit the Gothic and Italian Plans for the new Foreign Office to the inspection of Members, and whether he will name a day on which the decision of the House on the question of style shall be taken? but since he had given notice of this question the right hon. Gentleman had deposited the Italian plans in the Tea-room of the House of Commons; therefore, he would merely ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he still adheres to his decision not to exhibit some of the intermediate designs, which, he understood, have been viewed with considerable favour? He had a second request to make—namely, inasmuch as the number of new buildings was now so great, that his right hon. Friend, after communicating with the noble Lord at the head of the Government, will name some day for the discussion of the still disputed question of the styles?


said, that the designs for the elevation in the Italian style recently made by Mr. George Gilbert Scott were now in the Tea-room. As the noble Lord also wished to have the Gothic plans, he (Mr. Cowper) had endeavoured to select those which he thought most calculated to meet the noble Lord's wishes. The last Gothic designs were now in the exhibition of the Royal Academy. Considering this, he (Mr. Cowper) thought the noble Lord might wish to compare those which originally obtained the premium. With regard to the time for taking this discussion, he thought the legitimate opportunity was when the House was called upon to vote a sum of money in the Estimates for these buildings. He (Mr. Cowper) could not say when that Estimate would be taken, but it would come on in its order, in proper course, in the Miscellaneous Estimates. Due notice would be given of the day when these Estimates would come on.


said, that at the present moment there were in the tea-room two designs—the Gothic design, which was originally drawn by Mr. George Gilbert Scott; and the Palladian design. There was also the amended Gothic design, and a round-arched Italian design; so that those who were in favour of the Gothic style might contrast it with the Palladian, and with the round-arched early Italian. The Gothic designs of last year were in the Royal Academy. Had the right hon. Gentleman any objection to exhibit the amended as well as the original Gothic designs if the Royal Academy would consent to their removal? Also would the right hon. Gentleman state with some greater degree of certainty the day when the Vote was likely to be taken in the Miscellaneous Estimates?


said, with regard to the time when the Vote would be taken, he could only say it was the tenth Vote of the first class. The Votes would be taken in order, and when the ninth was disposed of, the tenth would come on; but how much time would be consumed in passing the first nine Votes was more than he could say. With respect to the exhibition of the designs, he would consult with his noble Friend, and endeavour to meet his wishes.