HC Deb 19 February 1866 vol 181 cc760-1

in the absence of Lord Henry Lennox, asked Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, Whether Mr. Boxall, R.A., has been appointed to the post of Director of the National Gallery, in the place of the late Sir Charles Eastlake; and, if so, whether any and what alterations have been made in the relations existing between that officer and Her Majesty's Government?


said, in answering the Question just put to him he might also reply to another Question of which notice had been given. Mr. Boxall had been appointed to the office of Director of the National Gatlery in place of the late Sir Charles Eastlake, and his relations to the Treasury were regulated by a Minute passed some years ago, which Minute had not undergone any alteration. Before advising the appointment of Mr. Boxall, his noble Friend at the head of the Government applied to those Trustees who took an active part in the administration of the National Gallery, and saw Lord Overstone and Mr. Russell, and took their advice. In making choice of Mr. Boxall, the noble Lord had been guided simply by a desire to obtain the most efficient man. He did not proceed upon the idea of creating any precedent or establishing any rule that the Director of the National Gallery must necessarily be a painter or an artist. No rule of that kind had been established; nor should any such rule be adopted, inasmuch as the appointment ought to be conferred solely according to the qualities and attainments of the individual, and not because of the profession he happened to pursue. Perhaps his noble Friend would like him also to state that in making the appointment he had reason to know that it was one which would have been recommended and was desired by the late deeply lamented Director of the National Gallery, Sir Charles Eastlake.


asked, whether the appointment was for a period of years or for life?


believed that the Minute of the Treasury directed that the appointment should be made for five years.