§ MR. BAILLIE COCHRANE
said, he would beg to inquire what steps the Government have taken or intend to take with respect to the purchase of the houses in the immediate vicinity of the new Foreign Office. He put the question because several of the owners of those houses were, he believed, making extensive improvements, with a view of obtaining a higher price for them next year?
in reply said, that the Government had already purchased the amount of ground which they deemed to be required for the building of public offices. It was bounded on the north by Downing Street, on the east by King Street, on the south by Charles Street, and on the west by St. James's Park. That site was larger than the present wants of the Government demanded, and many years were, he thought, likely to elapse before they would avail themselves of the whole of it. With respect to the houses which lay between King Street and Parliament Street, he was of opinion that it 739 would be very desirable that they should be purchased, not with the view of using them as building ground, but for the purpose of widening Parliament Street. No steps had been taken towards the accomplishment of that object since the abandonment of Lord Llanover's project, nor were there at present any funds available for the purchase, so that the Government could not proceed in the matter.