§ SUPPLY; considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
(1.) Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding £67,000, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Charge which trill come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1864, for the Purchase of Land and certain Buildings from Her Majesty's Commissioners for the Exhibition of 1851.
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
Sir, I rise to propose the Vote of which notice has been given, for the purchase of land and buildings on the site of the Exhibitions of 1851 and 1862. This City of London may, without exaggeration, be called the commercial capital of the world. It ranks high among the great political centres of civilized nations, and in point of Wealth and population it may very fairly be stated to exceed any other European city. But the very circumstances which I have mentioned—the great wealth and 904 great population of the City—have tended progressively to impair the architectural and ornamental character of the town. Our streets are narrow, our open spaces few and small, our public buildings are not many, and, respecting those which do exist, differences of opinion prevail as to their propriety of ornamentation and architectural design. We have not, in this town, what are to be found in many smaller towns upon the Continent, a great number of splendid palaces belonging to individuals. When we have mentioned Northumberland House, and, perhaps, Lansdowne House, if we are called on to enumerate other great ornamental constructions, we shall be driven to the, no doubt, very beautiful collection of apparent palaces—the clubs in Pall Mall, many of which are imitations of beautiful palaces on the Continent. In all the Italian towns, at Prague, and in most German towns, there are large piles of ornamental buildings which represent the wealth and taste of the nobility of those countries. What is the reason of that? What is the reason of the inferiority of this city, as compared with other first-rate towns, in regard to the conditions of the space occupied by and the character of the buildings? The great run of the private houses of London may really be termed mean. I am not speaking of those more lately constructed, which are on a better plan; but the old red-brick houses of London are low, they are destitute of architectural ornament, and may be said to be mean in their character. What is the cause? It arises from the great value of the ground—from the immense competition which the wealth of the metropolis causes for the smallest spaces of ground. People are unable to buy a large quantity of ground on which to construct a house, and having paid dearly for such portion of the land as they require, they have smaller disposable means for the erection of ornamental and handsome structures. The price of land in London is very great. I will just mention a few instances to show the value that attaches to the surface in this great town. A few years ago, when improvements were made between Oxford Street and Holborn, the land was purchased at £57,000 an acre. In the improvement of Charlotte Street, the land cost £67,000 an acre. In the improvement between Coventry Street and Long Acre, the land cost £119,000 an acre. The other day, my right hon. Friend the first Commissioner 905 of Works, in proposing the construction of a new street from Blackfriars Bridge to the Mansion House, having brought in a Bill which gave the street a width of seventy feet, proposed to increase it to eighty feet. He was, however, told, that the addition of ten feet along the length of the street, which was not a very long one, would add £100,000 to the expense, and upon that statement he gave it up. A few years ago, there was a vacant space near St. Paul's. I cannot say what fraction of an acre it represented; but when the City of London were desired to leave that space unoccupied, so as to give a wider area for the best view of the Cathedral, they answered that the value of the site was £60,000, and that they did not feel themselves justified in making the whole of that sacrifice merely for such a purpose. But not only is the price of land in this town very high; but the same causes operate in the provincial towns in the country. In Manchester, land had been sold for£50,000 an acre, and sometimes it has been sold by the square yard, and as much as £200,000 per acre has been given for land in the best parts of the town. In Birmingham, the land held by the London and North Western Railway was sold for from £57,000 to £60,000 an acre. At Liverpool, land has been sold at £30 per Square yard, or nearly at the rate of £150,000 per acre, and in other parts of the town at £100,000 per acre. Therefore, I say that the natural progress of wealth and civilization tends to add greatly to the value of land to be covered by buildings in the interior of towns; and admitting that there are certain requisites which are necessary for the development of the public establishments and buildings, the question arises where the land for such purposes can be acquired, and whether we should look for it in the centre of the town, where everything is covered with valuable property, or whether we should embrace the opportunity of acquiring it at certain greater distances, but still within reach for all the purposes to which it is to be applied. Well, we hold that the land held at Kensington by the Commissioners of 1863 does afford the means of providing for our immediate and prospective wants, and we are able to get land there for our immediate purposes on terms infinitely cheaper than those on which land can be acquired nearer the centre of the metropolis.
Now, the question is, what do we want? 906 What are the requirements that press oft the Government? In the first place, we want a Patent Museum. Any one who considers the value of a great collection of models and inventions to those employed in the mechanical and productive arts of the country, must know that it is of great importance that they should have access to a repository in which they can find everything connected with that particular department of industry to which they have devoted themselves. In America, a country not supposed to be addicted to unnecessary ornament, but where a great disposition is shown to practical improvement, there is a Patent Museum which covers eleven acres. Well, we do not propose a museum of such dimensions. I think that about three acres will be sufficient for all present needs in regard to a Museum of Patents. Then we want an addition to the British Museum. The question then arises where that addition is to be found—whether the land is to be had by purchasing land in immediate contiguity to the British Museum, or by the purchase of land at Kensington, as we propose. Calculations have been made that eight acres are required, but that is, I think, more than is necessary. I think that five acres would be a nearer approximation, and three acres have been named as the smallest amount of space that is required. Well, we have got together, at some expense and trouble, a most interesting collection of portraits of distinguished men connected with the history of the country. They are now placed in a house where they cannot be seen, and it is urgently desirable to have a better building in which to place that Portrait Gallery. Then we have a Museum at Kensington, full of most valuable and instructive productions, and a Committee of the House of Commons that sat two or three years ago strongly recommended additions to that institution.
Now, we calculate the cost of these various augmentations—supposing that the land were bought in the metropolis and at the rate which it now bears—as follows:—If eight acres are taken for the British Museum, the cost of land will be £390,000 and the buildings £824,000, making a total of £1,214,000. If five acres only are required, the land will cost £240,000 and the building £567,000, making a total of £807,000. Supposing the lowest estimate of three acres to be sufficient, the land will cost £150,000 and 907 the building £300,000, making a total of £450,000. I then take the Patent Museum, which will require three acres. The land is set down at £100,000, and the building at £100,000, making together £200,000. The Kensington Museum will require for its extension a Vote of £25,000 in 1864, and £25,000 in 1865, making together £50,000. There is no purchase pf land necessary there, because the land is already assigned to the public. The Portrait Gallery will require half an acre, and we calculate will cost £25,000 for land, and £25,000 for the building, or together £50,000; These sums would come to the following total:—If you take eight acres for the British Museum, the total for all these buildings will be £1,514,000; if you take five acres, £1,107,000; if three acres, £750,000, Assuming that these are wants which Parliament may think it proper to meet, these would be the sums you would require if you took land now occupied by houses in any central part of town. Now, the proposal that we make is one which, the Committee will see is a very economical one. By the plan which we recommend we should have much more space and at far smaller expense. The arrangement that we propose is, that the public should purchase seventeen and a half acres. [Several hon. MEMBERS: Sixteen.] No—seventeen acres pf the land belonging to the Commissioners, which is now covered with the building in which the Exhibition took place. For that land the Commissioners are willing to take £120,000. My hon. Friend will admit that to get seventeen acres of land at about £7,000 per acre, for which we should pay £50,000, £60,000, or £70,000 elsewhere, is a considerable advantage.
In addition, there is the existing building, and we think it would be good economy to purchase that building, and to adapt it to the purposes for which we want accommodation. Now, the arrangement made by the Commissioners with the contractors was, that they were to pay a large sum to the latter, of which a portion was to be repaid out of the proceeds of the Exhibition, and then, if no other arrangement should be made, the contractors were to be allowed to remove the building at the expiration of a certain time. For the use of the building the Commissioners were to pay £300,000, and if they bought the building afterwards, an additional sum of £130,000, making a total of £430,000. There was paid out of the proceeds of the 908 Exhibition £230,000, and we now propose to add to that £80,000 for the purchase of the building as it stands, making altogether £310,000, which is considerably less than the contractors were entitled to receive if the whole thing had answered; but, as it is, that sum would save them harmless. The £80,000 is a sum arrived at upon calculation of the value of the materials, and little more. The contractors asked more; the Government thought that a smaller sum might be sufficient; the question was referred to very competent authorities, who had no interest whatever in the matter, but who, from their attainments and habits of business, were likely to be good judges, and the amount of £80,000 was fixed as the sum which was fair as between the public and the contractors for taking the building as it stands. Well, then, according, to that calculation—of £120,000 for the purchase of seventeen acres, and £80,000 for the building, we should for £200,000 enter into possession of seventeen acres and a large building standing thereupon—a building which undoubtedly would be too large for our present wants, but which would be kept up at a very trifling expense, and would be available for any future purpose which the progress and development of the Arts and Sciences might require.
The building, however, was not completed by the contractors upon the plan of being a permanent public building, applicable to our present purposes; and no doubt some expense will be necessary to render it substantial and fit for the purposes for which we want it. But I think I can show, taking that into account, we get for our money more value than we should obtain Supposing the building taken away, and we had to erect another on the ground for the purpose which we have in view. The estimate of the sums required to make the building substantial is in the hands of hon. Members. It is £154,000, This calculation has been made by Mr. Hunt, Surveyor to the Board of Works, a man quite competent to make it, and of whom it may be said that his calculations in many cases have come nearer to the actual expense incurred than any calculations that have been made by any other person in his profession. I believe, with regard to the Foreign Office building, the difference between his estimate and the, actual sum contracted for was something like £2,000. The Committee, therefore, may confidently rely upon this, that these 909 calculations would not be exceeded. [Ironical cheers.] Well, that is a mere matter of opinion: hon. Gentlemen are led away by experience of former instances. Unfortunately, the ingenuity and successive developments of the imagination of architects have led the public at times into much heavier expenses than were originally contemplated; but I am firmly convinced that in this matter—not a matter of imagination and ornamentation, but a matter which can be well and strictly calculated by persons conversant with such things—the House and the Committee may be sure that these estimates will cover the expense likely to be incurred. There are many parts of the building which were constructed for temporary purposes, and which, if the building were retained for permanent use, would require to be made more solid. Things that are now in wood would require to be made of something more durable. [A laugh.] Hon. Gentlemen may laugh, but they should remember that the building was erected for a special purpose, and has answered that purpose. You want it for a different purpose, and it is quite clear that many parts of it would require to be altered. But that is no argument against the plan, and I think my hon. Friend will find that the money which we ask would give to the public a good, permanent, and economical building. Then there are the two domes—and some people take objection to a dome. I am not one of those. I think a dome is a handsome thing. Those who look at St. Paul's or St. Peter's will not be of opinion that a dome is at all disfiguring, but that it is a great ornament. The Exhibition domes, however, are of glass, and it is proposed to reconstruct them in a more solid manner, that they should rest on brick, and that they should be made as like as possible to the dome of the British Museum, which has been regarded with admiration by every one. That alteration, it is supposed, would cost about £40,000. Well, then, a building to be used for public purposes, would require to be warmed and ventilated, and the cost of doing so is calculated at £30,000. Then the picture gallery would require a fire-proof floor. With the utmost care, as we have lately seen, it is difficult to guard against fire, and in a building in which such valuable property would be deposited it is manifest that a fire-proof floor would be required. Then, the exterior is plainly and simply constructed, 910 and it is proposed to ornament it with cement, and to add to it that higher degree of embellishment of which we see examples in the clubs of Pall Mall. The expense of that would be £45,000. It would not interfere with the architectural character of the exterior, but would give it a coating of cement, which is durable and pleasing to the eye. I will therefore take £284,000 for all this, which, added to the £200,000 for the purchase of the land and compensation to the contractors, would make the £484,000. Well, for that £484,000 you would have seventeen acres covered with a substantial building, requiring but slight annual repair, well adapted to the various purposes for which you want it, and capable of great extension; and you have all this to set off against £750,000, which, upon the narrowest basis, supposing that three acres only were required, is the sum that would be necessary for the additional space which the British Museum alone would want. Well, the arrangement we propose is, I humbly think, one which the Committee will not deem extravagant, or likely to involve them in expense which they cannot foresee, or which they would not be justified in incurring. In the calculations which I have laid before the Committee I assume that the whole building as it stands will be repaired, made solid, and adapted to the purposes for which we want it. But it is probable, that for the present not more than one-half of that building would be urgently required to be so completed; and, if that be so, the £284,000 might be divided into two, and the immediate expense—the expense to be incurred this year, next year, and the vear after—would be only £142,000, which, added to the £200,000 for the purchase of the land and the building, would make only £342,000, as compared with £750,000, the sum which it is calculated it would cost to get hardly the same extent of accommodation in a different part of the town.
Sundry people, however, think that it would be enough to buy the ground, and let the contractors carry away the building. There is a notion among many that this would be an economical proceeding; but I think that the Committee will see that this would be the most expensive plan. Supposing the ground were clear, you would have to erect on it buildings adequate in size and dimensions for the purposes for which they are required; 911 and it would cost far more to erect new-buildings on the ground than to purchase the existing structure and adapt it to the purposes for which it is wanted. If the present building were taken away, you would want a Patent Museum, which, as I have stated, would cost £100,000, the enlargement for the British Museum would cost 240,000, and the addition which would be wanted for the South Kensington Museum I will take not at £50,000, but £40,000, as £10,000 might be avoided. Then there would be another sum of £25,000 for the Historical Portrait Gallery, making a total of £405,000. On the other hand, by the proposed purchase, you would have to pay £80,000 for the building, and £286,000, ultimately, for alterations, making a total of £366,000, to be set against the sum of £405,000, and leaving, at all events, upon that comparison, a saving of £39,000, and probably £40,000.
There is also this to be considered—that when we engage in erecting public buildings, gentlemen of taste, architects, and the Institute of Architects, quoted by the hon. Gentleman opposite, step in with their plans and opinions. Plain buildings are said not to be suitable, ornament is demanded, and stone fronts are reckoned necessary. When you are beginning de novo, people say they cannot be content with brick fronts covered with cement. We know that taste is a very dear enjoyment, depend upon it; and if you call on a number of distinguished architects to give you plans, such a course would lead you into an expense infinitely greater than that which we now propose, and I do not know whether, upon the whole, you would get a building more approved by the country or better adapted for its purposes. Then, I say, we have here offered to us seventeen acres of land at £7,000 an acre, whereas the land, ii it were offered to the public to-morrow for erecting private buildings on, would indisputably fetch £15,000 an acre. Therefore, by the purchase we are gainers of the whole amount of the difference between £7,000 and £15,000 an acre for these seventeen acres. In fact, we should not have got this bargain unless it had been owing to the particular circumstances connected with the Exhibition. The Commissioners do not, indeed, consider themselves as land speculators, but deem it their duty to contribute, as far as they hare the power, to the promotion 912 of art and science in this country. I should hope that hon. Gentlemen would not be led away by any difference of opinion as to the particular style of ornament for the structure. No doubt, the face of the building would be improved in appearance when it is covered with cement. That style of finishing, I maintain, admits of the addition of pure ornamentation.
I have stated what we propose to do; and now I may as well state what we do not propose to do, because matters have been introduced which are not immediately connected with this subject and on which great diversity of opinion prevails. We do not propose to remove the National Gallery from Trafalgar Square to this new building. The ultimate arrangement with respect to the National Gallery, as between the Government and the Royal Academy, is a matter to be further considered. We do not propose to send the learned bodies there. They are now lodged in Burlington House, and we think that it would not be convenient for those learned bodies to hold their periodical meetings at such a distance as Kensington. If, therefore, any hon. Gentlemen are disposed to object to the proposition of the Government, on the supposition that either of those changes is contemplated, I think it essential to disabuse them and to inform them that we have no intention to propose one or the other. I think I have stated very plainly and, I trust, distinctly, the nature of the arrangement which we propose, and which I believe will be very advantageous to the public. I believe we shall get the land to the full extent we require at a price at which we could not have obtained the necessary land in any other convenient situation. London is spreading and increasing in every direction, and a great town is rising to the south of this ground. In proportion as any country increases in the development of wealth, and art, and science, the wants for the accommodation of art and science increase. By the proposed purchase we get, not only a provision for our immediate wants, but the means of future development, at a price which I hold to be infinitely below the real value of the land, and the adaptation of the existing building will be effected at a cheaper rate than a new building, with much less accommodation, could be erected for. If the Committee were to determine, though I trust it will not, that it would have nothing to do with the present building, 913 still the opportunity of buying the land is not to be overlooked. However, I think it would be advisable in point of economy and convenience to buy not only the land, but also the building on it; because the building can be adapted to the desired purpose at a smaller expense than a new building could be erected on the land. I may now state that, for the convenience of discussion, we propose to take the Votes separately. The first Vote will be for the purchase of the land, and the next for the purchase of the buildings upon it. The noble Viscount concluded by proposing a Vote of £67,000 towards the purchase of the specified land at South Kensington.
§ MR. GREGORY
said, he thought that the Committee would be of opinion that the speech just delivered was not so successful as most of the speeches proceeding from the noble Lord. A little investigation would show that the arguments of the noble Lord were about as unsubstantial and as rickety as the foundations of the very pleasant edifice which the Committee was asked to purchase. It appeared to him that the Government had treated the matter in rather a jaunty way, and one would have thought that in a purchase of that description, involving so large an expenditure of public money and affecting such a variety of interests, some statements more in detail would have been presented to the Committee, and that, at all events, they might have been treated to a view of the building as it was to be when it was restored and covered with cement. The Government had not done this, but it had begged the question of a number of propositions, about which he much doubted if the House were at all prepared that the question should be begged. The noble Lord assumed that the art and science collections were to be separated; then that the Natural History Collection was to be removed to Kensington, and that the House of Commons was prepared to reverse the decision arrived at last year, that it would not adopt the gigantic plan, or sanction the gigantic expense attending Professor Owen's scheme. The noble Lord bad also assumed that the new Patent Office to be constructed was to be at Kensington. He believed that there were other plans in view, to which the noble Lord had not alluded, and he should like to know from the Chancellor of the Exchequer what was the intention of the Government with respect to those plans. 914 He understood that it was the intention of the Government that the Geological Museum in Jermyn Street should be transferred to Kensington; and he had seen an article in the great leading journal intimating that the prints at the British Museum were to be sent there. With regard to the transfer of the Natural History Collection, he did not pronounce any opinion himself; but he knew that a number of Gentlemen in that House, and the mass of the scientific world out of doors, were opposed to that transfer. At one time Professor Owen, who was a great authority, wrote so eloquently and vigorously in favour of keeping the collections of art grouped about the great national library that he exercised a vast influence on the public opinion. Professor Owen, it seemed, had now changed his mind, but the scientific world had retained theirs. There was great diversity of opinion on the question of transferring the Natural History Collections to Kensington. It was a working man's question. No fact was more clearly proved before the Committee which sat in 1860, and of which he had the honour to be Chairman, than that these collections were the most popular collections in the British Museum—that the visitors who frequented the Natural History galleries exceeded in number the whole of the visitors to all the other departments put together. Hence it was to be remembered that transferring these collections from Bloomsbury to Kensington would be taking them from the poor and giving them to the rich. People who were well to do could drive to Kensington in their own or hired carriages, but a poor man could not afford to pay sixpence for his own conveyance, or, if he took his family with him, a much larger sum, every time he visited the establishment. London was increasing in every direction, but the British Museum still preserved its central situation. If the Committee were to agree to the proposal of the Government, it would reverse the decision at which it arrived last year. The House decided last year that it would not sanction the proposal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to roof over a space of five acres if the building were of two stories, or eleven acres if of one, for the Natural History Collections of the British Museum. That expensive plan rested exclusively on the authority of Professor Owen. He had a great respect for Professor Owen, who was a man of remarkable intelligence, and an ornament to his country, and whose opinion 915 upon a question of comparative anatomy, or any purely scientific matter, would justly carry with it great weight. But, fortunately, upon that subject they had got the scientific opinion of the whole of England, and it was opposed to that of Professor Owen. Every one of the scientific men examined before the Committee of 1860 declared that the establishment of an enormous Natural History Museum, such as was proposed by Professor Owen, would not only be detrimental to the interests of science, but would rather injure than promote the instruction and recreation of the labouring classes. Among the men who joined in that declaration were Sir Roderic Murchison, Dr. Goold, one of the best ornithologists in this or any other country, Mr. Bell, President of the Linnaean Society, Professor Huxley, and, last but not least, Sir Benjamin Brodie. Sir Benjamin Brodie thought that natural history might be represented in a much smaller space than professor Owen proposed, and he said more than once that there was nothing he dreaded so much as that the nation, should be induced to listen to inordinate demands for great space for scientific purposes, because he believed them to be unjust to the taxpayer, and calculated in the end to bring public disfavour upon science and scientific men. But not only did the great authorities he had quoted declare that a email additional space to the British Museum would be amply sufficient for its requirements; every gentleman connected with the Natural History department, including Professor Maskelyne, Dr. Gray, and Mr. Waterhouse, had expressed precisely the same opinion. One and all thought that large purchases of land would be prejudicial to science and a gigantic bore to the public at large. Last year the House decided, by a majority of 169 to 71, to accept these authorities as conclusive against the proposal of the Chancellor: of the Exchequer, to construct a Natural History Museum at a cost of £700,000. The proposition now before them was an old friend under a new form. The outlay, however, was not to exceed £500,000, instead of £700,000, and for that sum the Government were going to give this city of refuge for all the houseless and destitute collections and institutions in the metropolis. In addition to Natural History collections said the noble Lord, this building shall house the patent models of the country. He was aware that the patents were at that moment at Kensington, but there 916 was a fund, or ought to be, of £130,000 available for the construction of a Patent Office and Museum. Where ought that Patent Museum to be? He put it to the common sense of the Committee whether it ought not to be along with the specifications in which the patents were described, and these specifications were in the Patent Office. Such, at all events, was the opinion of every one acquainted practically with the business. He did not suppose, however, that the Government intended to remove the Patent Office from Chancery Lane to Kensington. The Patent Office was in Chancery Lane, in the centre of the legal district, just where it ought to he. The common-sense view-of the case was to do what was so repeatedly demanded, for which there ought to be ample funds—namely, to build a Patent Office, and with it a Patent Museum in that quarter of the town, where suitors would obtain ready access and investigation. Although the magnetism of Kensington was great, he hardly thought it could attract to it the Patent Office; but since the proposal was made to set up the Patent Museum at Kensington, he should not be surprised at anything. Again, he understood it was the intention of the Government to transfer the Geological Museum to Kensington, which would alone induce him to give their proposal his most strenuous opposition. The Museum of Geology in Jermyn Street was one of the few public buildings that were thoroughly adapted to the purpose for which they were intended. It was built only eighteen years ago at an enormous cost. He had been told that more room was wanted, but he believed that the museum would find ample accommodation if the house next to it, which belonged to the Government, could be appropriated to the staff of officers. He also objected to the removal of the National Portrait Gallery to Kensington. All the authorities concurred in thinking that their picture collections should be kept together. It would be a breach of faith to separate the Portrait Gallery from the National Gallery, as the Legislature had sanctioned the institution of the Portrait Gallery distinctly in connection with the National Gallery. There was space enough at Burlington House to hold all the national pictures and the drawings of the great masters now in the British Museum, and he hoped that something would soon be done in that direction. In the whole Government scheme there was a great want of sequence. 917 Everybody had been complaining of the system of jumbling together works of nature and works of art, and yet the Government proposed to do what they themselves had so much deprecated—namely, to bring together every kind of incongruity—pictures, and patents, and whales, and megatheriums, and portraits—what the late Colonel Sib-thorp, in his expressive language, called an "omnium gatherum pie."
Having said thus much, he should next proceed to advert to the marvellous bargain which the noble Lord seemed to think he was about to make. Before doing so, however, he would ask why it was that the Commissioners were going to give the public so extraordinary a bargain; why they did not sell the ground for the full value, and invest the proceeds in the manner in which they were intended to be invested—for the promotion of science and art? If they did not choose to do that, why, he should like to know, did they not hand over gratis to the Government the whole of the ground at once? That was a question which required an answer. There were stories of a somewhat strange character afloat on the subject. He had heard it said that the Commissioners could not act in the manner he had just suggested, and that they were obliged to adopt a middle course. But why was that so? He had been told that they had embarked the money—which he called the public money, because, though not voted by Parliament, it had been obtained for public purposes—in a private undertaking—the Horticultural Gardens. The reason, then, it appeared, why the public were to have so great a bargain was, that while the Commissioners wished to make over the property at their disposal to the Government, they at the same time were desirous of being recouped by the nation of the money which they had thus improperly expended. If he were wrong in the surmise which he had ventured in this matter, the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer would, he felt assured, correct him. But, be that as it might, the sum to be paid for the International Building was £364,000—£80,000 for the framework, and £284,000 for putting it in order. Now that, he should contend, was a perfectly enormous amount to pay for converting what was a mere makeshift into a permanent institution, because rubbish was, in his opinion, dear at any price. He would ask the Committee to listen to the view taken by a very eminent engineer, the 918 editor of the Exhibition Journal, and who, he believed, was employed by Sir Charles Barry in connection with the Houses of Parliament. Mr. Mallet, the gentleman to whom he referred, declared that the building was unfit, by any amount of outlay short of reconstruction, to become the depository of a national collection of any sort. Again, a writer in The Mechanic's Journal, in the spring of the year, said—Those who saw the interior of the nave during the foggy days, and considered the formation of the building, must have had this question forced upon their reflection—for what possible use or end could such a building be permanently employed in our climate?But the argument used on behalf of those who advocated the purchase of the building was that it was worth, or ought to be, £430,000; that the land was worth £280;00, and that thus the public were to have the wonderful bargain of getting £710,000 worth property for £200,000. Now, he would take a little familiar illustration from the occurrences of daily life, in order to exemplify the force of that argument. Let him suppose that he had a carriage of light and delicate materials, for which some years ago he gave £200, and that he said to a friend of his who was about to travel on the Continent, "Here is my carriage. It will just suit you while you are abroad. You can have it for £50; it is the greatest bargain in the world; it cost me four times that sum." But his friend might say, "I want something more substantial for my purpose;" and to that very fair remark he might reply, "Well, even so; if you put a new body to it, and new wheels, and new springs, you will find that the pole is in admirable order; to do that will cost you only £150." It would not, he thought, be at all surprising if his friend were, under those circumstances, to observe, "Well, if that be so, I think it would be better for me to have a new carriage altogether." Now, that illustration was, in his opinion, quite applicable to the bargain which the Government supposed they were about to make. The great point was to show whether it was or was not really a bargain, and whether it was or not worth the £364,000 it was proposed to lay out upon it. In dealing with that point he should, as he might find it to be his duty to make some remarks not complimentary to Captain Fowke, assure the Committee that he had 919 the greatest respect for the talents and promise of that gentleman. The position in which Captain Fowke was placed should be borne in mind. He was called upon to cover a large space of ground; he had not the means of making the building a structure of architectural beauty, and no doubt he did the best he could under the circumstances. If, however, he should sink under the abuse which the perpetuation of that horrible building would entail upon him, it would not, at all events, be the fault of those who were opposed to the scheme of the Government. Now, he would, if the Committee would permit; read a letter which he had received, describing the condition of the building in question. The writer was Mr. Mallet, whom he had before named; who was very well known as an engineer, and after having heard whose statements the Committee would be in a somewhat better position to judge as to whether the estimate of Mr. Hunt was or was not likely to be exceeded. Mr. Mallet said—The true question as to present value and for the purpose proposed is this—How much of the existing building can be viewed as fit to remain, or can be in any way made use of. With the exception of the front picture galleries and parts of the external walls, I believe that ultimately all the rest would resolve themselves into so much old materials, the greater part of which would have to be disposed of as such, and be found of a character incapable of being again worked into the new structure fitted to receive collections, &c.He then proceeded to say—The gross area (of floor) of the whole building (exclusive of the annexes or refreshment rooms or picture galleries) is about 692,000 square feet, and the picture galleries cover 70,000 square feet. The picture galleries are roofed, with a quasi- permanent roof of slate, &c. All the rest of the building is roofed either with glass, by far the largest proportion of which (all except the domes) is in common wooden bar sashes, the most miserably slip-slop make and material, or with common tarred felt, i.e. with the most inferior sort of tarpaulin stretched on wood. So that of the entire area of the building (without annexes or refreshment rooms) of about 17½ acres, 11 acres are covered with tarred felt, and nearly 5 acres with wood and glass. The result is that 16 acres out of 17½ are practically without any roof, and that of the picture galleries is not such as any architect would pronounce permanent, or fit for the reception of works of art or collections of any sort. The means of taking off the rain water were so badly devised, and the gutters of the great area of glass roofing so disproportionately small, that in every heavy rain they overflow. This evil is irremediable, except by the reconstruction of the whole of this roofing. The felt must all have permanent covering substituted for it. A very large proportion of the whole of this 920 part of the roofing, more especially all that forming the extensive flats at the level of 50 feet above the floors, would require entire reconstruction. But, assuming that all the felt roofing were only covered with permanent slating and lead, the cost will be large. Passing to the floors—There is no sufficient or complete system of under drainage, no basement. The floors are open surfaces of boarding of only one inch thick, and of the very worst quality in material and laying. They rest on rough cross joints and beams, which again are stilted up upon slender brick piers and dwarf walls, bedded on a little concrete earth. Before the building could be fitted for any purpose, the whole floor must be removed, a thorough system of under drainage constructed, and upon proper foundations, a complete system of vaulting substituted for the present flimsy wooden surface, to preserve dryness in the building, and to enable it to be warmed in any way, and to give a foundation upon which collections can be based. Then, to make anything like a precise estimate, or even a very close guess, at the cost to be incurred in doing all this, and a vast deal more that I have not alluded to, and much that I cannot now foresee, in the absence of detailed designs, &c., is impossible. Something like an approximate guess, based on calculation, may, however, be made, and if kept on all points within a safe margin, may be relied upon. The following is such:—Vaulted basement system of drainage, and new flooring over 692,000 square feet, £231,000; roofing in a permanent manner eleven acres of felt-covered sheds, £90,000; reconstructing the whole of the glass roofing, except the domes, in a permanent manner, to keep out water, £43,000; reconstructing the two domes in a manner to be safe and permanently water-tight, probably £60,000; reconstructing the roof of the picture galleries so as to remain water-tight and keep out snow, £18,000; constructing of apparatus to heat and ventilate the building, probably £25,000; total, £467,000.That came to the sum of £467,000. "Thus," he said—for a sum which in round numbers (and adding to the above a trifle of £23,000 for official fitments and alterations to make the building tenantable for any museum purpose) amounts to half a million, plus the £200,000 of purchase money, we should have the building just as it now stands, except that it would be as permanent a structure as it can ever become, in place of a sham, or mere booth. But now it is to be made use of; for this the walls, decorations, the doors, the ventilation, the ground glass skylight—everything, in fact, beyond the existing four walls of the picture galleries, will have to be done; and in the natural history part of the affair, the cases, the fixtures of all sorts, and division screens between classes. Will £100,000 more do this? I should think not.In that Mr. Mallett was quite right, because the architect of the British Museum stated that, according to Professor Owen's plan, the sum required for glass cases alone would be £80,000.Suppose it then all done, what is the result? Every one knows, who saw the building in the winter, at the close of the Exhibition, that its structural defects as to lighting are such that everywhere (except in the glass-roofed courts) it 921 was gloomy at all times, and twilight only after 2 o'clock p.m., while beneath the opaque floors of the galleries it was actual darkness. Is this the sort of place to display objects of natural history—many minute structures that can only be seen or understood in the finest and best-adjusted light? If, instead of such being the case, the building were suitable in the highest degree for museum purposes, it still labours under the disadvantage as a national museum building that structurally it is ricketty and unpermanent everywhere, as must every building constructed of iron, wood, and brick be—in which, as in this, no attention has been given to the effects of the unequal expansion and contraction by change of temperature. In this case, however, there are other and equally grave structural defects. The timber roof principals of the nave and transepts have such a tendency to spread, by want of rigidity in their curved timber ribs, that by their thrust they actually drove the iron columns eight or nine inches out of plumb, and were in danger of thrusting out the exterior brick walls while the building was in course of erection. This was remedied, then, by diagonal iron stay bars, introduced by the advice Of Mr. Ordish, C.E., and upon these bars of iron the standing up at all of the building is now dependent. None of the roof principals, indeed very little of the timbers of the structure anywhere, were ever planed, they were put up rough from the saw, and their apparently smooth surfaces have been given by daubing over with distemper colour; hence they cannot ever be oil painted, and without such paint to keep dust away in London from any museum is impossible. Dust is the great evil of all London museums, even as best constructed. In this building, and especially in the much-vaunted picture galleries—the ventilation of which depends upon their sucking in dust from the Cromwell Road—the evil of dust would be found insufferable.As soon as Mr. Hunt's statement of the amount which would be required for "repairing, altering, and eventually completing the building" appeared, Mr. Mallett wrote him another letter, in which he said—I am favoured with yours of yesterday with the so-called estimate. Ex nihilo nihil fit, or, as we may say, nothing can be made of an estimate in which nothing is given almost beyond the ipse dixit of Mr. Hunt. However, it does admit of some damaging criticism. Item No. 1, you will have remarked, professes to include only repairs and reinstatements. It does not embrace the vaulting, sewerage, and flooring; and as to any repairs or reinstatements making the building 'thoroughly and permanently substantial,' it is simply impossible by any process short of knocking it all down to make 'permanently substantial,' or even permanently weather-tight, a building so immense, a proportion of the exposed surfaces of which, in roofs, skylights, ventilation, louvres, and upright sashes, consists of woodwork of the most flimsy and wretched description, both in materials and workmanship.Passing over his criticism as to the domes, he continued—You ask, why should not this building be heated and ventilated as is the Crystal Palace? 922 There is no physical reason why it should not, but the expense of heating it and at the same time preserving such a continued change of warmed air as is essential to keep natural history collections safe and sound, Would cost an enormously greater proportionate sum. In the tropical department at Sydenham, where alone the heating artificially is sensible, every care is taken not to ventilate of change the air at all, unless in the very hottest sunshine. At any rate I can say at once, from my experience, having for Government directed the heating and ventilation of all the Queen's Colleges and of the convict prisons and almost all the other public buildings, that £30,000 is utterly inadequate to heat and ventilate here; £90,000 would probably be nearer the real thing.With respect to item No. 4 he expressed himself very irreverently, saying—We now come to item No. 4, and here we have caught them. The floor area of the picture galleries is in or about 70,000 square feet, which, at £15,000 for fire-proofing the whole, gives about 4s. 3d. per foot super. This would scarcely suffice to lay 4-inch brick arches on cast iron beams for a common cotton mill in Lancashire, without any flooring over them to walk on at all; and here there must be fine flooring, a fine ceiling underneath, if the lower story is to be used for any thing, provision for heating and ventilating pipes and flues, and the greatest requirement as to strength known to engineering; it being well known that a densely-crowded floor of people is the heaviest living load.Of the next item he said—Item 5 is mere bosh" (vulgo et vehementer): adding, "another nought might make it look more probable. There are 32 panels above the windows, 20 ft. by 15 ft., or thereabouts, to fill with mosaic wall-pictures. Each of these will surely cost £5 the foot super, or £1,500 per panel; that alone is £48,000, without the terra cottas on the pilasters or anything else, and this only deals with the Cromwell Road front; the two wings would cost more than the front. These hints may, perhaps, be of some use. It is a sickening mass of falsehood and jobbery.The sum and substance of what he had said was, that the Committee was, for the sake of what was said to be a cheap bargain, asked to involve themselves in a most useless and reprehensible expenditure. They were asked to purchase the shell without knowing what might be the cost of putting it into order, or what would be the annual estimate for the maintenance of this enormous building. He objected to the proposal, also, because it was a preparation for that drawing into one focus all the different institutions of the country against which the House of Commons had more than once protested. Not only that. He did not wish to see all the institutions of the country fall into the grasp of that craving, meddling, flattering, toadying, self-seeking clique that had established itself at Kensington; that had 923 been doing a good business there, and now wanted to extend its operations. It would have been much better for those gentlemen to have kept themselves quiet. It would have been better for them not to hare been pushing themselves perpetually forward, not to have been making these perpetual requisitions, but to have said with thankfulness—Satis supérque nos benignitas tua Ditavit.Public opinion was beginning to get raw and sore upon the subject. There appeared on the previous day in one of the periodicals a notice of those people and their doings which he believed fully expressed the opinion of the public. It said—The building itself is far from popular; but the people connected with it are more unpopular still. If it should happen that the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Mr. Disraeli—who are at one on this question—should suffer defeat, and not be able to bring up their respective contingents to the rescue, we believe it will be owing more than anything else to the increasing dislike and jealousy of the public and of the representatives of the people to the parasites who have fastened themselves upon so many of the institutions which have already gathered about the great Kensington estate, or who are expectants of the new 'kingdom come' to be established there. Already the class of 'managers' is well known for exclusiveness, class combinations, servility, and extravagance. There are the Council of the Horticultural Society, the Council of the Society of Arts, and the 'managers' of the 'Great Exhibition.' They not only play into each other's hands, but they are for the most part composed of the very same well known persons. They are either hunters after honours or Court favour, or they are small clerks, who have promoted themselves into commissioners, councillors, or dispensers of honours in science and art. We believe that the Chancellor of the Exchequer would not have the least difficulty in getting any sum required for the great public purposes of the institutions to be located at South Kensington, if he could show any chance of being able to keep down the abuses which are all but too well known. These small people are neither artists nor men of science. They are unknown to literature. They are ever ready and at hand to patronize all undertakings, and to vote one another into the management of every rising institution. There is no doubt that much of the unpopularity of South Kensington is owing to this class of men.If the House of Commons were willing to purchase the land, all he could say was, let the Government come down next year with a well-prepared plan for a Natural History Museum of moderate size; let them bring down the plans and specifications, so that the House might know what they were dealing with. If accommodation were required for the national pictures, that subject must be dealt with 924 sooner or later, and then let all the scattered collections be provided for. If a Patent Office were needed, they had, or ought to have, £130,000 available. But he implored the Committee not to consent to the purchase of that building at South Kensington, for by doing so hon. Members would be entailing upon themselves perpetual mortifications, vexations, and disgrace. If hon. Members wanted to become acquainted with the effect of three-quarters of a mile of stucco, let them walk down Motcomb Street and look at the Pantechnicon, and say whether it was possible for imagination to suggest anything more horrible. By complying with the proposal now made to it, the Committee would not only involve itself in an experiment of which it was impossible to count the cost, but it would put the coping stone, the pinnacle, and crowning act to that artistic and architectural degradation for which he regretted to say England was too notorious. He begged to move the rejection of the Vote now asked for.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
(who rose after a pause) said: I did not rise to address the Committee, presuming from what he had written, and also from what I had heard otherwise, that my noble Friend (Lord Elcho) Was about to propose the Motion of which he has given notice. But, in point of fact, I suppose that the form in which it is now proposed to take the Vote substantially meets his view. It does not appear to be desired that there should be a general debate before going to a division; but it is necessary that I should reply to some of the remarks of my hon. Friend who has just addressed the Committee. I cannot help regretting the extreme vehemence of the language which my hon. Friend thought fit to apply to persons out of this House. [Mr. GREGORY said the terms alluded to were in the letter.] Exactly so; but it is to be presumed, that when letters are read in this House by my hon. Friend, the statements which they contain are adopted by him, and he becomes responsible for their language. When he speaks of these proceedings as a combination of fraud and jobbery—[Mr. GREGORY: Falsehood and jobbery.] I am sorry I misrepresented my hon. Friend. But he must either attribute proceedings so reprehensible to Her Majesty's Government, or else to the professional gentlemen who were consulted. If the words he used were intended as applicable to Her Majesty's Government, I am the last man 925 in this House to complain. [Several hon. MEMBERS: Not to the Government.] Then I can only say that such remarks applied to Gentlemen like Mr. Hunt, whose standing in their profession, whose reputation and immense professional practice are far stronger testimony to their ability and character than the trifling remuneration which they receive from the Government for the services they render—language of that kind on the part of my hon. Friend is a very great error, and one which I trust he will not repeat again. I appeal to the House of Commons to protect gentlemen of this class in the public service, who have no opportunity of defending themselves, from these violent, indiscriminating, and very discourteous attacks. I will not trouble the Committee with any more quotations from the speech of my hon. Friend, though I might have multiplied them very considerably; but I proceed to answer some of his most signal exaggerations.
The hon. Member says we adopted, in all its enormity, the design of Professor Owen, which he first described as a scheme for roofing over eleven acres of land; and he added that I proposed a scheme to the House last year which, if carried into execution, would have entailed an expenditure of £700,000. I made no such proposal. The proposal which the Government made was to purchase five acres of land at a cost of about £50,000; and I think I stated that the very maximum which, under any circumstances, the cost of building upon that land in the manner proposed could reach was £400,000 or £450,000. The effect of that statement, I have reason to believe, was most injurious to the proposition; and, on another occasion, when it was contemplated to build courts of justice, the course taken by the Treasury, I am afraid, was likewise detrimental to the plan. Out of a feeling of honour and fidelity towards the House of Commons, and from no other motive whatever, the Treasury placed before the House on each occasion the very maximum which, upon the largest estimate, the charge could possibly amount to. But how have the Government been met? Although they feel the utmost confidence that the charge will be materially less than what they have stated, they were met by my hon. Friend and others with the suspicion that they are putting foward a scarcely honest, and at any rate most superficial and careless statement to the House—a statement 926 merely of the sum called for in the first instance—and that the House must be prepared subsequently to have that amount doubled or trebled. [Mr. BERNAL OSBORNE: Hear, hear!] I appeal to the hon. Member for Liskeard, who cheers, to say what the Government are to do. Either we must ascertain the amount that will probably be required, making the largest allowance for every demand that is likely to be incurred, and then state that amount frankly to the House; or we must fall back on the system of loose estimates, generally very much within the expenditure that has to be incurred. But if estimates framed from the best data at the command of the Government, and resting upon evidence which experience shows we can rely on, are to be treated as merely superficial statements, and are immediately multiplied by two or three, such a course of proceeding on the part of the House of Commons can end in nothing but a practical stoppage of all plans for supplying buildings worthy of the country, and adequate to its requirements. My hon. Friend went on to say that £130,000 were applicable to the building of a Patent Office. I hope my hon. Friend guarantees the existence of that fund; but I am humbly under the impression that no such fund exists, and that there is not a shilling applicable to a Patent Museum. My hon. Friend has confounded two distinct things, a Patent Office and a Patent Museum. If such a fund did exist, of course it would go towards the change we are now making; but, in point of fact, no such fund exists. It is quite true, there is a revenue arising from patents, and therefore there is a moral obligation to provide an adequate museum in return for the revenue. It would be fair for the Government to say, "Although we are asking you to incur an expenditure of several hundred thousand pounds, you must not consider it as an expenditure out of the public purse so far as the £200,000 are concerned; that sum, which is the smallest we should require to find a Patent Office elsewhere, you cannot consider as your own; but, as the proceeds of the revenue from patents, which you are bound to return when the interest of the patentees or of the system require it." This deduction we are entitled to make from the charge; we are not asking for an outlay the Committee is free to refuse, inasmuch as what is necessary must in propriety and honour be found. No decision, however, has been taken to place 927 the Patent Office at South Kensington; the question is not determined, and therefore no such scheme as the transfer suggested is involved in the proposition of my hon. Friend. At the same time, if it should he found that the interests of the patentees will be better served by a different arrangement, we may feel ourselves bound to consult those interests. The Patent Museum is at South Kensington already; the only difference is that it encroaches on space meant for other purposes, and, instead of its being an exhibition of patents, things are heaped together in a way which prevents their being seen, and constitutes a scandal to the country. This scandal it would be one of the objects of the present Vote to remove, but the speech of my hon. Friend who has just Bat down I think rather tends to perpetuate it.
He asks whether we have decided to transfer the Geological Museum to South Kensington. His divining power being so great, I wonder that he puts the question to us, who, with our limited sources of knowledge, can know so much less than he does of our own intentions. Perhaps it was the same authentic source which furnished him with information regarding the fund of £130,000, from which he received the assurance that it had been determined to transfer the Geological Museum to South Kensington. The question of transferring the Geological Museum, or of enlarging it, has never yet been submitted to the Treasury or the Cabinet; I therefore think I am perfectly safe in saying, that up to the present they have had no opportunity of knowing that such a step was in contemplation. The Museum, however, is constantly accumulating treasures; and if my hon. Friend asks me whether, in the interests of economy and convenience, I think that the Geological Museum ought to be widened by throwing in Piccadilly and Jermyn Street frontages to double or perhaps treble its present width, I reply that such a proposal requires consideration. [Cheers.] I understand from the tone of that cheer that hon. Members think the interests of economy would be promoted by such an enlargement. Either those cheers have no meaning at all, or they mean that. My hon. Friend asks why the Commissioners of 1851 have made this offer, and he places them in this dilemma—he says they ought either to sell this land and apply the proceeds for the promotion of science and 928 art, or else they ought to make over to the Government the entire estate they possess. I will show pretty good reasons why the Committee should not take either course. The hon. Gentleman said, that they should sell the land to the Government, or to other parties, and apply the proceeds—
§ MR. GREGORY
I said that the land might be sold at its full value to the Government, and the sum paid for it applied by the Commissioners to the promotion of science and art; or else they might give the land to the Government, to be applied by it to the purposes of science and art.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
I thought I understood the speech of my hon. Friend, but now I find I do not understand it at all. It is very obvious, that if he restricts his observations to the land, the reason why the Commissioners cannot give it to the Government is that it is mortgaged for the purposes of the Commissioners. That is a conclusive reason why they cannot give it to the Government. He thinks, that if the Commissioners of 1851 sold this land to other parties, they would obtain a sum of £250,000, which they could invest. I say that they are making a better bargain. If they pass this land to the Government for £120,000, they will obtain the outlay of half a million for science and art. That is, I think, a fair reason for the course which has been taken by the Commissioners of 1851.
My hon. Friend has quoted largely from the letters of Mr. Mallett, and has invited our attention to a multitude of technical and professional questions. He has thought himself justified in reading from letters some passages, containing what I cannot otherwise describe than as gross and virulent personal abuse of Mr. Hunt. Now, Mr. Hunt is a responsible officer of the Government. He is more. Besides being employed as a consulting surveyor by the Government, he enjoys a large and lucrative private practice of tenfold greater value. He is therefore in a position in which we have every guarantee for the fidelity and integrity of his proceedings. We are consequently disposed to trust Mr. Hunt, and I will assert that the letters which my hon. Friend has read do not overthrow the 929 result of the careful and protracted inquiry made by a gentleman of known ability and character, and who is responsible for his calculation. Nor am I disposed to take in lieu of Mr. Hunt's conclusion those of a gentleman who may be a very clever person, but of whom officially we have no cognizance, and for whose opinion it would be absurd for Parliament to make itself responsible. My hon. Friend asks, why we did not bring specifications. Why, we cannot bring specifications without presuming to foreclose every question as to the mode in which this building is to be employed. We must have employed an architect, we must have called for designs, and are we to do that before Parliament has voted the money for the purchase of the building? The question before us is, whether the House of Commons shall or shall not take the site offered it by the Commissioners of 1851; and my hon. Friend says, that before the House allows the Government to purchase the site, we ought to lay before the House a specification in minute detail of the mode in which the whole of these seventeen acres are to to be disposed of, and of everything to be erected on this site. I wish my hon. Friend had told us how long a time Mr. Mallett spent in examining this building. He is, I believe, a civil engineer. Mr. Hunt has been paid for his estimate, and he has, in consequence, given a responsible opinion. My hon. Friend has not told us whether Mr. Mallett has been paid for his estimate, or whether an examination of a day or a couple of days may not have been the basis of this statement.
My hon. Friend says that by this proposed purchase of land at South Kensington we are robbing the poor for the benefit of the rich—that the British Museum is the site to which all have the easiest access, and that at Kensington there is no corresponding facility of access. But he must bear in mind that a fundamental change is about to be made in the facility of communication between one point of London and another. That which was last year an unsolved problem is now solved, and railway arrangements for transporting the public from one point of the metropolis to another are proved to be practically, easy, and lucrative. In the course of a year or two, therefore, we may expect that a ring of railways will be completed, which will include the line of South Kensington and pass close by the estate of the Commissioners. I venture 930 to lay down this proposition—that, so soon as these railways are made, the facilities of communication from the most distant points of these lines will be far greater than to any point, however central, that may be off the line. Whatever, therefore, may be at present the relative advantages of the British Museum and South Kensington, those relative advantages are about to be enormously changed in favour of South Kensington.
My hon. Friend says that no visitors go to South Kensington. ["No, no!"] What, then, does he mean by saying that we are going to rob the masses for the benefit of the rich? Does he not mean that we are going to rob the many for the benefit of the few? Now, let the Committee examine this subject. The British Museum has the advantage of containing a collection which has been in process of accumulation for a hundred years. The Museum at South Kensington, on the contrary, is the child of yesterday, and depends upon the liberality of Parliament. It has only been in existence ten years, for it was, I think, in 1853 that I proposed the first Vote for it. Now, let my hon. Friend listen to these figures. The visitors to the British Museum in 1862, exclusive of students and readers, were 895,000. The number of visitors to the South Kensington Museum in the same year was 1,241,000. [Cries of "That was the Exhibition year."] Well, have I not quoted the same year for both? [Cries of "Oh!" and "The Loan Collection!"] It is disadvantageous to go back, because South Kensington is a rapidly growing institution. Last year was, I admit, the year of the Loan Exhibition of Fine Arts, and I will therefore quote the figures of 1861. In 1861, the visitors at South Kensington were 604,000; the. British Museum had 641,000 visitors. [An hon. MEMBER: South Kensington was open both morning and evening.] Only one-third were evening visitors, and more than two-thirds visited South Kensington in the morning.
Now, my hon. Friend again says that this is a question of economy, and that some very slight extension of the British Museum is all that is required. Again I say, my hon. Friend gives his irresponsible opinion against the opinion of those whose duty it has been in the present or the last Government to make a responsible examination of the question. He says, We are going to adopt the monstrous 931 scheme of Professor Owen." I have a very different opinion of Professor Owen from that of my hon. Friend; but I say we are not going to adopt his scheme. The position of my noble Friend has been, that take this plan as you will, there is a saving of £300,000 or £400,000. And when we say that, let it be borne in mind that we are not charging my hon. Friend, or those who follow his lead, with the responsibility of finding elsewhere that proportion of land proposed by Professor Owen. We have not spoken of five acres, but of three acres. [Mr. GREGORY: Hear, hear!] Am I to understand from my hon. Friend that he thinks a space of three acres an irrational or monstrous space for the accommodation of the Natural History collections? [Mr. GREGORY: No.] But if he does not say that, the ground is completely cut from tinder his feet. When my noble Friend says we are going to provide for £500,000 what elsewhere would cost £1,000,000, we proceed on the supposition that only three acres would be required, according to the plan of my hon. Friend. But we have got an illustration of what is required for the Natural History collection. I draw it from the State of Massachusetts, and I think that England and London may be allowed as liberal a space as Massachusetts. In the University of Cambridge, near Boston, they have provided five acres of land for the purposes of a natural history collection. They have not built as yet upon the entire five acres, but have raised a structure of three stories upon two acres, which is exactly equivalent, in point of accommodation, to the proposal of Her Majesty's Government—one of two stories upon three acres. That institution in Massachusetts has been open only a few years. And I will now read a few words from Professor Agassiz, a name rather better known to fame than that quoted by my hon. Friend. Professor Agassiz, in a recent letter, writes—"Our new building is overflowing. It will be necessary for us to extend our structure within the next two years in order not to check our progress." Under those circumstances, are we to buy near the British Museum those five acres, to begin by invoking the Goddess of Economy to lay out £250,000 for the site, then £250,000 more for the buildings? and then, in consequence of the narrow approach to the Museum from Holborn, we must open a new street. And all this is for the purposes of economy. 932 Sir, the wants of the public have been stated by my noble Friend; but before I sit down, I would wish to touch on one or two points. It is said our estimates are fallacious; but if so, I must say they have been made with a much greater anxiety to reach the maximum cost than the estimates which we have charged on the other side of the account. When we have said that elsewhere you can build a Patent Museum for £100,000, and a National Portrait Gallery for £25,000, I believe those estimates are very low indeed. How moderate is £25,000 or £30,000 an acre for land in the middle of London. With the figures that have been quoted, it is more probable you would have to pay double that sum. But we have been anxious to understand this case, to put down against our own plan the maximum of the public charge, and to speak with moderation in regard to the other plans. But after proceeding upon that principle, my noble Friend has shown, that if you are to act upon responsible and not irresponsible judgments, you will have a saving of £300,000 or £400,000 at the first outlay, and a much larger saving ultimately. I do not wish to detain the Committee by entering into particulars, but only to give them satisfactory and adequate explanation; and I take my stand upon the responsible judgments of those whom we consult. My hon. Friend has probably forgotten that there is a document in existence signed by two gentlemen of reputation, Mr. Baker, civil engineer, and Mr. W. Fairbairn, civil engineer, speaking in satisfactory terms of the solidity of the building as it was constructed for the purposes of the last year. I fully admit that the testimony of those gentlemen does not apply to every portion of the building, as, for example, to the state of the flooring as regards permanence, or to the state of the roof. But with respect to the walls the effect of the document is, that the building has been subjected to the severest tests, and has proved on all points to be more than equal to any trial it could be called upon to bear.
With regard to the scheme of taking the land without the building, I hope the position of the Government is understood. It is absolutely our duty to take the judgment of the Committee upon the question whether they will give £80,000 for the building at South Kensington, and we shall do our best to show that that 933 arrangement is a wise and profitable one for the public. But that is not the question that is now before the Committee. That question has been entirely blinked and evaded by the hon. Member. My hon. Friend has not said one word upon that question, and I am using the strongest language that I can when I say my hon. Friend has entirely blinked and evaded the practical question, whether it is necessary, in the interests of the public, to endeavour to obtain those seventeen acres of land. My hon. Friend has, I think, by his silence admitted that three acres are wanted for the Natural Histoy collection. I have shown that for Massachusetts a considerably larger space has been given. If we wanted five acres, I wish to know where they are to be had. They cannot be had in London at an expense of less than £50,000 an acre; that would be an expense of £250,000 before anything was built. Then for the Patent Museum three acres is a moderate allowance. What do they think of that matter in America? The Patent Museum of Washington covers, I believe, eleven acres of ground; and I think we are making a moderate proposal when we take for the Patent Museum of this country a space equal to about one-fourth of what is devoted to it in America. Now, I have got eight acres, and we are to provide yet for the National Portrait Gallery and other purposes in connection with the South Kensington Museum. But let me take my stand upon those two purposes only and where are we to get the eight acres that we want? My hon. Friend, a worshipper of economy, is prepared to pay elsewhere £400,000 for eight acres, when we are now enabled to purchase twice that number, with certain buildings upon it, for half the money. Which will the Committee prefer to do? That is the issue upon which they are called upon to decide, and I do not think my hon. Friend's professions of economy, however sincere and ardent, will convince the Committee that it is an economical course to refuse to purchase land at £6,000 an acre, and in preference to pay £40,000 or £50,000, or even a still larger sum. That is the question with which the Committee has now to deal, and I trust every hon. Gentleman will bear in mind the real responsibility attaching to this proceeding, for his responsibility is very heavy. For a long time it has been observed, and observed 934 with rare unanimity, that every possible evil of vacillation, uncertainty, delay, expense, and many others that I need not now repeat, attend our method of management of those great questions of public works. Does the Committee think that that system will be amended by statements made in a very highly-coloured if not an exaggerated tone by my hon. Friend, by unmeasured denunciations of men of great authority employed by the Government to examine those questions, by ruthless assaults upon the performances of architects, and, I may say, by total misapprehension of the peculiar merits of the case? The House of Commons can reject any of these proposals if they think fit, and, in doing so, would be acting strictly within their right and province; but the advisers of the Crown, after long considering what would be best to propose to the House for the purpose of meeting the urgent necessities of the country, and likewise of providing for future wants, are of opinion that the best and by far the cheapest mode of proceeding is to acquire the land at Kensington; for they are not aware in what other way the Government could proceed, unless they were prepared to propose those extravagant and enormous grants which, under the name of economy, my hon. Friend the Member for Gal way, seems to admire.
§ SIR JOHN PAKINGTON
said, that he would not detain the Committee for more than a few minutes; but he was sure that they did not wish to come to a vote under any feeling of momentary excitement, or under any Misapprehension of the real nature of the question on which they had to decide. They were called upon to vote a sum for the purchase of land and certain buildings. But they ought clearly to understand that those buildings did not include the Exhibition building, and that the Vote was substantially for the land alone. He regretted that the hon. Member for Galway (Mr. Gregory) had made himself a medium for bringing before the Committee the attack made by Mr. Mallett upon other professional men; but he believed that the statements of the hon. Gentleman with respect to the Exhibition building would require a more effective answer than they had yet received from the Government, before Parliament would consent to purchase that building. He felt convinced, however, at the same time, that the Government would have been wanting in their duty, at a time when accommoda- 935 tion was so much required for the various collections of art, if they had not asked the House of Commons to grant the sum required for the purchase of the land at Kensington. Even as an investment, the Government would have done well to buy the land.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, that in reference to the statements of the right hon. Baronet, he wished to explain that there were certain buildings, the property of the Commissioners, and not of the contractor, which the Commissioners joined with the land in making their offer to the Government. Those buildings were of a very unpretending character looking towards the Horticultural Gardens, and had been used as refreshment rooms; but the best way was for the Committee to consider these buildings as non-existent, and that the whole price was charged for the land, which would then be purchased at a very cheap rate.
§ MR. AYRTON
said, in reference to the statement that buying the land would be a good investment, he understood that it was not proposed to buy the land pure and simple, but for the express purpose of devoting it to science and art.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
observed, that the Government were not to be allowed to buy the land for £120,000 for the purpose of selling it next day in the market. The land would be purchased, subject to the condition that it should be permanently appropriated, as Parliament might think fit, for purposes connected with science and art.
§ LORD ELCHO
said, that so much depended on the Tote that it ought not to be lightly dealt with. He wished, therefore, to earnestly recommend the Committee to consider the circumstances under which they were to come to a vote upon that occasion. They had for many years been Buffering in this country from a chronic congestion of the departments of science and art. He feared that many hon. Members conceived that they were about to give their votes upon the whole scheme, whereas the Committee were simply asked to decide whether they would not acquire the land at Kensington. He hoped they would not hastily resolve on rejecting that proposal. He should therefore move that the Chairman report progress.
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
We should make progress before we report it. The Committee seems to have made up their minds, and I trust they will not agree to 936 the Amendment. If a division be taken upon it, I hope it will be considered to be a division on the proposition before the Committee. When we come to the next Vote, the Committee shall, if they wish, have further time to consider it; but I hope hon. Members will come to a decision on the first Vote.
§ MR. BERNAL OSBORNE
I am aware that at this hour it would require the tongue of Demosthenes and the ability of the noble Lord to detain the House; but I beg leave to say that this is a very grave question, not to be despatched in an indecent manner. If there has been any confusion, it has arisen entirely from the speech of the noble Lord, because he mixed up the site and the large shed together, and consequently it became impossible for hon. Gentlemen to discuss the one without alluding to the other. I was particularly struck by the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who, not following the example of his noble leader, completely gave the go-by to Captain Fowke's enormities. If there has been any reproach cast upon Mr. Hunt, which I deny, remember the unsatisfactory nature of the plans and estimates presented to the House. Was ever a great scheme brought forward in so slovenly a manner? Was ever an estimate submitted to Parliament in a condition more deserving of reprobation? When the Chancellor of the Exchequer talks about the estimate not being exceeded, let us remember the building in which we are assembled. We were told that £745,000 would complete the Houses of Parliament; the cost at this day amounts to over £3,000,000, and even yet they are not finished. Let that for ever be a warning to us not hastily to adopt imperfect estimates. With respect to the present Vote, I deny the necessity for it. Something has been said of chronic congestion. That chronic congestion, if it exists, has been produced by the Government, who have been continually forcing this House to remove all the collections to Kensington. Nothing has been done with Burlington House, for which a large sum was paid, and yet we are now asked to vote £120,000 for a scheme of which we know nothing. The Patent Museum, for example, has made its appearance to-night for the first time. I have no doubt the encouragement of art and science is a very nice thing for those gentlemen who make fine incomes by it, but it may cost the public too much to be pleasant. One might 937 apply to art the apostrophe which was once addressed to Liberty,—"O Art, what atrocities have been committed in thy name!"
§ SIR HENRY WILLOUGHBY
said, he merely wished to ask a question upon a matter of form. The estimate was one for an entire sum, and he did not understand why the Vote should be broken up. He wished to ask whether it was not proper that the whole sum of £484,000 should be asked for at once, and then that the Committee should proceed to the various items in detail, rather than that they should be asked to vote on a single Vote of £67,000, in which they thought they might be successful.
The proposal of the Government is to move the different items which constitute the estimate in separate Resolutions. There is no irregularity in point of form in that proceeding.
§ Motion made, and Question, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again,"—(Lord Elcho,)—put, and negatived.
§ Original Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 267; Noes 135: Majority 132.
§ Vote agreed to; as was also—
§ (2.) £805, Salary and Expenses of the Commissioners of Education in Ireland.
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
said, that he did not, in accordance with what he had already stated, intend to press the Committee to come to a decision on the Resolutions next in order that evening. He should therefore postpone them until Thursday week.
§ MR. MALINS
said, he apprehended the Committee was quite unprepared for the course proposed by the noble Lord. If the noble Lord did not like the temper of the Committee, possibly he did well in not going on with the Resolutions; but he was quite sure the Committee would be aware that the postponement of the Resolutions was agreed to for the accommodation of the Government only, and not of the Committee.
§ MR. BERNAL OSBORNE
said, he must emphatically protest against the hon. and learned Gentleman taking it upon himself to speak on behalf of the Committee. He understood that the Vote next in order should be postponed, and hoped that course would be taken.
(3.) Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding £3,500, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1864, for the University of London.
§ MR. WALPOLE
stated, that he had consented to postpone the Vote for the British Musuem to meet the convenience of the hon. Member for the Tower Hamlets, who had given notice of a Motion on the subject. He proposed to fix it for Thursday week.
§ MR. O'REILLY
said, he rose to protest against a Vote being put, as that in reference to Irish education had just been, while the noise was so great that nobody could know what was being done. He had been prevented from speaking on the Vote, because he could not make himself heard by the Chairman.
§ MR. MASSEY
said, the Vote related only to the staff in connection with education in Ireland. The Committee was, he thought, perfectly aware of what was taking place.
§ MR. AUGUSTUS SMITH
said, that he had not heard a word of what was going on, owing to the rush of hon. Members leaving the House. He thought that important Votes should not be put at such times.
§ MR. LEFROY
said, he was not prepared for the Vote for National Education in Ireland coming on that night.
§ MR. HENNESSY
said, the Vote which had just been passed was £805 for the Secretary of the Commissioners of Education in Ireland. That Vote, he believed, had never been challenged. He had certainly heard the Chairman put that Vote, and thought that both sides of the House had also heard it.
said, there seemed to be some misunderstanding. The only Vote put from the Chair since the decision of the Committee, with regard to the purchase of land, was £805, the salary of the Secretary of the National Education Commissioners. The question then before the Committee was that £3,500 be granted for the University of London.
§ SIR ROBERT PEEL
said, that the large Vote for Education in Ireland had been postponed, becanse it was thought that it would not be fair to bring it on in a hurry, and without ample notice.
§ SIR ROBERT PEEL
said, that Thursday night was appropriated to the Public Works (Factory Districts) Bill, and the following Monday would be given up to the hon. Member for the Bang's County for the discussion on the affairs of Poland. They proposed, however, to take the Vote for public Education in Ireland on the first Supply night
§ MR. O'REILLY
asked, whether the right hon. Baronet intended that that Vote should be taken on the first Supply night after next Monday?
§ MR. AUGUSTUS SMITH
said, he wished to ask for some explanation of the charge in this Vote for six scholarships in art and science, which appeared this year for the first time.
Motion made, and Question,
That a sum, not exceeding £3,000, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1864, for the University of London,"—(Mr. Augustus Smith,)
—put, and negatived.
§ Original Question put, and agreed to; as was also the next Vote—
§ (4.) £13,905, to complete the sum for the Scottish Universities.
§ (5.) £1,296, Queen's University in Ireland.
§ MR. SCULLY
suggested that the Vote be postponed. Many hon. Members not then in the House were anxious to discuss the subject, and the Vote could conveniently be taken at the same time as that for national education.
§ SIR ROBERT PEEL
said, he thought there was no good reason for delay. The Vote had been discussed on many previous occasions, and had always received the sanction of Parliament.
said, the education afforded in the Queen's University reflected credit on the country. If there were any delay in assenting to the Vote, the object the House had in view would be misinterpreted.
§ MR. SCULLY
said, he had no objection to the principle of mixed education, provided it were carried out in a bonâ fide spirit; but in Ireland the religious element was introduced under cover of secular education. If the principle were good for anything, why not apply it to this country? In England, on the contrary, all the great schools—Eton, Harrow, and Eugby—were conducted by clergymen; nor would a Roman Catholic be admitted to any of the great colleges at Oxford. He knew both countries well, having lived as much in England as in Ireland—that was to say, during the rational part of his life—and he had no hesitation in asserting that mixed education in Ireland, to a great extent, meant proselytizing He could not understand the course pursued by the noble Lord at the head of the Government. The noble Lord, against his own conviction, had, on a recent occasion, supported bigotry in Scotland because it was in the majority. Now, if the noble Lord yielded to the majority in Scotland, why did he not act in the same manner with respect to the majority in Ireland?
THE O'CONOR DON
said, that the principle of the State usurping the education of the middle classes, who were well able to pay for it themselves, had been declared by the most distinguished statesmen to be opposed altogether to the wishes and feelings of the English people, and he saw no reason why it should be sanctioned with respect to Ireland. He did not believe that the Queen's Colleges led to any change from one religion to another; but he thought that the false principle of mixed teaching induced indifferentism among the students, which was quite as bad as proselytism. The whole of the Estimates for Irish education, in his opinion, ought to be taken together.
§ MR. O'REILLY
said, he fully agreed with the hon. Gentleman who had spoken last that the Irish Education Estimates ought to be discussed as a whole. One principle of the English system was that the State should not contribute to the education of those who could afford to pay for their own education, and another principle was that the assistance given to the poorer classes who could not pay for their 941 own education should depend upon the amount obtained by voluntary efforts. It was a cardinal point in that system that the State should not monopolize the education of the people; and although in France and other countries a contrary system was adopted, it had always been held in England that the individual freedom of the citizen would thereby be compromised. In Ireland, gradually and insidiously, because, if brought forward at once, it would have been successfully resisted, the attempt had been made to introduce a system by which to vest in the State the whole education of the country. It was said that free education might also exist. The ex-King of Bavaria instituted a State newspaper, the whole cost of which was paid for out of the public funds, and he caused it to be sold at infinitely less than its cost. It was said that free newspapers might exist in Bavaria. But, under those circumstances, competition was impossible, and no free press could exist. It was the same with regard to education. No system which must be supported by the voluntary contributions of the taxpayers could compete with a system of State education paid for out of the public funds, which the taxpayers were called upon to provide. Last year Irish Members pointed out that one-third of the students in some cases, and two-thirds in others, received pecuniary rewards for attendance. The right hon. Baronet then promised that these rewards should not be distributed over so large a number. They also called his attention to the fact that some of the professors taught classes of one, two, and three in number, and the right hon. Gentleman promised a revision of these professorships. In the Vote for London University the practice was to give the names of the professors, the numbers of the students, and classes. No such particulars were given in regard to the Vote before the Committee. It was also a rule in London University that no professor should, under any circumstances, become the examiner of his own pupils. He should like to know how many professors of the Queen's Colleges examined their own pupils when they came before the Queen's University.
§ MR. F. S. POWELL
said, that in his opinion a general discussion on the subject of Irish Education was beyond the scope of the matter before the Committee, but he would observe that in England Parliament had arrived at the system of testing 942 education by results, and something of the same kind ought to be done in Ireland, so that the working of those valuable institutions would be ascertained without a shadow of doubt. Instead of having the large sum of £475 given away in medals and prizes, it would be better to apportion it in the shape of exhibitions and scholarships. At the same time, he was glad that these colleges offered to the young men of Ireland the opportunity of self-cultivation and improvement. In this light they were a boon and a blessing to Ireland.
§ MR. MORE O'FERRALL
said, he hoped that the right hon. Baronet the Irish Secretary would give the explanations which had been asked for.
§ MR. HENNESSY
said, he wished to know whether the Royal Commissioners, who were all favourable to mixed education in Ireland, had not, in their Report, recommended that these scholarships should be cut down in number and amount, since the number of students in the Faculty of Arts was smaller than the number of scholarships. He wished also to know whether the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for Ireland had not thought fit, in the face of that recommendation, to endow more scholarships, and to ask the Gentlemen of Ireland to contribute to them. The President of Queen's College, Cork, Sir R. Kane, stated in his Report that of the six students in the Faculty of Arts five had been promoted into the fourth class. Would the Committee believe that for these six students there were no less than twelve scholarships? Last year, in the same faculty, there were nine scholarships to be competed for by eleven students. He was most anxious that the youth of Ireland should avail themselves of the education of the Queen's College; but that could not be done by making the number of scholarships greater than that of the scholars. It was no use trying to force the Government system upon the people of Ireland, and he would urge the Secretary for Ireland to take the advice given to him by the Vice President of the Queen's College in Galway, and come to 943 a compromise with those who really represented the people of Ireland.
§ SIR ROBERT PEEL
said, he was not able to say exactly off-hand in what proportions the sum taken for examiners was divided among them, but he would take care that the information, was furnished in a note next year. He was sorry that the hon. Member for the King's County did not approve the voluntary subscription which had been raised in Ireland. The request, which had emanated from himself, had met with remarkable success. In a brief space of time the sum of £10,000 had been raised, which was a substantial approval of the policy of the colleges. He had never heard of any charge of proselytism in connection with the Queen's Colleges; but if any were brought to his knowledge, he would take care to inquire into it. The hon. Gentleman was quite aware that he had no more authority to interfere with the course of examination or to change the system than any one else. The Vote was very fully discussed last year, when he had endeavoured to reply to all the objections raised, and he trusted the Committee would pass the Vote—the items of which were not extravagant—just as they had passed the Votes for London University and the Scotch Universities. The students were increasing year by year, and they derived from the education there provided much greater facilities for advancing in their several careers than they had enjoyed before.
§ MR. SCULLY
complained of the small amount of information given in the Estimates compared with the Votes for the London and Scotch Universities.
§ MR. O'REILLY
said, he wished to ask how many professors of the Queen's Colleges acted as examiners at the University, or, in other words, acted as the examiners of their own students?
§ SIR ROBERT PEEL
said, he could not state how many acted as examiners, but they did not examine their own students.
§ MR. SCULLY
said, there was no use in asking the right hon. Baronet for information, for he knew as little about the matter as any of themselves, and perhaps a great deal less.
§ MR. HENNESSY
asked when the 944 Report of the Queen's University for the year would be laid upon the table. [Sir ROBERT PEEL said he would inquire.] It would be very interesting to have that Report. He had looked at the last year's Report, and he found that the total number of those who took Master of Arts degrees was ten, of whom five got gold medals and money exhibitions; and among the remaining five, about whom he asked for an explanation last year, but did not get it, were A. H. Curtis, W. Nesbitt, and C. P. Reichel, whose names corresponded with those of three Professors in the colleges. He found one of those gentlemen, Mr. C. P. Reichel, down as one of the examiners; he examined himself, was paid for examining himself, and got his degree. Mr. Nesbitt did the same. Mr. Curtis did not examine himself. So that out of the whole number who took master's degrees there were two students who did not get gold medals. No doubt the right hon. Baronet had the success of these institutions at heart; he had given his money for that object, and got his friends to do the same; but he would urge upon the right hon. Gentleman and the Government to do that which alone would insure the success of the colleges—to come to a compromise with those who represented the youth of Ireland.
§ MR. CONINGHAM
said, the attempt of the Government to educate the youth of Ireland reminded him of an old Irish proverb—it was "whistling jigs to a milestone."
§ Vote agreed to.
(6.) Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding £3,800, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1861, for the Queen's Colleges in Ireland.
§ In reply to Mr. HENNESSY,
§ SIR ROBERT PEEL
said, a considerable sum was proposed to be given in aid of the augmentation of the salaries of the professors in Cork, Belfast, and Galway. It had been clearly shown that the salaries were inadequate to the duties performed, The question had long been under the consideration of the Government. The present Chancellor for the Duchy (Mr. Cardwell), when Chief Secretary for Ireland, had elaborated a scheme for the 945 abolition of certain professorships, and increasing the salaries of the professors. When the colleges were established, under the Government of the late Sir Robert Peel, the number of professorships was not so large, but the Earl of Clarendon afterwards increased it without increasing the Vote applicable to the salaries. What was now proposed to be done was to abolish the office of Vice President, to suppress certain chairs, and to apply the saving which would be thus effected to the increase of the salaries of the professors. The total sum available would be about £2,100, of which £1,800 would be from the Parliamentary grant, and the remainder from chairs which had lapsed in the different colleges.
§ MR. SCULLY
said, it was a very extraordinary thing that the right hon. Baronet, while attending proselytizing meetings in London, should have the control of the education given in the Queen's Colleges in Ireland. The right hon. Gentleman came down and told the Committee that some chairs were to be abolished and some professors salaries to be increased, but did not explain why it was to be done. He was informed that an English barrister going the Oxford Circuit, who was professor of logic in one of the colleges, was to have his salary doubled. It was not a proper way to present a Vote of that kind to the Committee without enabling them to judge whether the explanation was right or wrong. He should therefore move to reduce the Vote by £1,800.
§ MR. HENNESSY
said, the explanation of the matter was this. The salaries of the professors were reduced by the Earl of Clarendon from £300 to £250, when the professors were increased from sixteen to twenty. It was said, when the reduction took place, that the professors would get £250 a year, and in addition the class fees of the students. Mr. Hamiliton estimated that those fees would amount to a considerable sum; but what was the result? There were few students, and therefore the class fees amounted to but little. The Committee was accordingly called upon to increase the professors' salaries out of the public funds. He should vote for the increase, because as long as they had professors they ought to pay them.
§ MR. SCULLY
said, his hon. and learned Friend had given a satisfactory explanation, and ought either to change places with the right hon. Baronet or coach him upon occasions of that kind.
Motion made, and Question,
That the Item of £1,800, in aid of the augmentation of the Salaries of the Professors of the Queen's Colleges in Ireland, be omitted from the proposed Vote,"—(Mr. Scully,)
—put, and negatived.
§ Original Question put, and agreed to; as were also the two next Votes—
§ (7.) £500, Royal Irish Academy.
§ (8.) £500, National Gallery (Ireland).
(9.) Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding £1,500, be granted] ed to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1864, for the Salaries of the Theological Professors and the Incidental Expenses of the General Assembly's College at Belfast, and Retired Allowances to Professors of the Belfast Academical Institution.
§ MR. HADFIELD
said, he objected to such a sum being paid to the clergymen of a Dissenting body, who were so largely assisted by the Regium Donum, and who were able to raise immense sums for religious purposes by voluntary collections. He should therefore move that the Vote be cut down to £450, that being the sum paid by way of retiring allowances.
§ SIR ROBERT PEEL
thought, that while money was given to the Established Church in Ireland, and Maynooth was kept up for the purpose of educating the Roman Catholic priests, Parliament could not be considered as doing too much if it voted £2,050 for the purpose of educating the clergy of the important body of Presbyterians, who numbered 528,000 out of the 586,000 Protestant Dissenters in Ireland.
said, he should oppose the Amendment. At the close of the last Session the several professors gave a most favourable report of the classes under their care. There were twenty-seven students in the class of divinity, thirty-three in the class of Church history, thirty-five in the class of Hebrew, twenty-seven in the class of Christian ethics, twenty-six in the class of Biblical criticism, and 129 in the class of sacred rhetoric.
§ MR. HADFIELD
said, he would remind the right hon. Baronet that there was no proportion between the Vote for 528,000 Presbyterians, and £26,000 for Maynooth on behalf of 4,000,000 or 5,000,000 of Roman Catholics.
Motion made, and Question put,
That a sum, not exceeding £450, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1864, for the Salaries of the Theological Professors and the Incidental Expenses of the General Assembly's College at Belfast, and Retired Allowances to Professors of the Belfast Accdemical Institution."—(Mr. Hadfield.)
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 25; Noes 95: Majority 70.
§ Original Question put, and agreed to.
§ On Motion, "That the Chairman report Progress,"
§ MR. CONINGHAM
objected, and said he thought that at that comparatively early hour (a quarter past ten o'clock) the Vote on the National Gallery might very well be proceeded with. He wished to give notice that he should move that the Vote be reduced by £1,400 in the item for travelling expenses and agency.
§ Motion made, and Question put, "That the Chairman do report these Resolutions to the House."
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 108; Noes 20: Majority 88.
§ House resumed.
§ Resolutions to be reported To-morrow; Committee to sit again on Wednesday.