§ SUPPLY considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ (1.) £4,970, Purchase of old Gun Metal to be employed in the construction of the National Memorial to His late Royal Highness the Prince Consort.
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
Although I have to make this proposition in the form of a money Vote, I am merely about to ask the Committee to give effect to a rule which was adopted at the desire of the House in respect of "old stores." Formerly any quantity of bronze in the shape of old gun metal might have been given from those stores without the leave of the House; but we have, and very properly, put an end to that system, and I have, therefore, to ask for a Vote of £4,970, the value of old gun metal to be given by the Government for bronze work in the memorial to the Prince Consort. It is necessary to obtain the consent of the House in this way, but the money will not leave the Exchequer, or, if it should, it will be at once paid in again. The right hon. Gentleman then moved a Vote of £4,970 for the purchase from the War 1552 Department of gun metal to be employed in the construction of the memorial—namely, seventy-one tons at £70 per ton.
§ MR. AYRTON
thought it was desirable the Committee should understand a little more clearly the nature of this Vote. Was it in addition to the £50,000 which the House had voted for the memorial three years ago? On that occasion some hon. Members desired to know what the character of the memorial was to be; but Lord Palmerston stated distinctly that the House were not asked to undertake the work—what they were asked to do was to grant a sum of money to Her Majesty towards enabling her to erect a memorial. As he understood, the House was absolved from all responsibility in the matter, and on that ground they were invited by Lord Palmerston not to enter into any discussion, but to leave the matter in the hands of Her Majesty. As this was the first occasion on which the matter was brought up, he wished to have a clear understanding now whether it was intended that they would have to vote sums of money from time to time for the completion of the memorial?
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
This Vote has nothing to do with the sum of £50,000, which was intended to be the extreme and only sum this House should ever be called on to vote towards the memorial. But at the time that Vote was brought forward, the Government of the day promised that besides the £50,000 a quantity of old gun metal to the weight of seventy-one tone should be given for the bronze work of the memorial; and the noble Lord who was then Secretary for War made a specific promise to that effect. Upon those engagements all the estimates are based; and the work has now arrived at such a stage that the gun metal is required, and the Committee have made a demand for it; and as, under the new regulations which the House had made, I could not allow the metal to be given unless it were first brought before the House, I have caused this estimate to be framed and submitted to the Committee.
§ MR. DARBY GRIFFITH
said, he distinctly remembered that the promise of the gun metal, in addition to the £50,000, was made by Lord Palmerston.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (2.) £77,744, to complete the sum for the British Museum Establishment.
§ MR. LOWE
The Vote for the British 1553 Museum last year was £98,164; the total of the sum required for the year is £102,744, showing an increase of £4,580. In the item of Salaries there is an increase of £1,985; in House Expenses of £250; in Purchases, ordinary, of £1,247; in extraordinary of £2,400; and in "Miscellaneous" of £250. A gradual increase takes place in the salaries of the assistants; but the main cause of the increase under this head is connected with the retirement of Mr. Panizzi from the office of Principal Librarian. In consideration of his long and very valuable services, including not only his indefatigable labours as Principal Librarian, but also the service which he rendered as architect of the new reading room, the Trustees have recommended that he should be allowed to retire on full salary after a discharge of his duties for thirty-four years. That arrangement was made a year ago; but, at the request of the Government and the Trustees, Mr. Panizzi has consented to remain in office for another year; so that for the last twelve months the country may be said to have had the benefit of his services for nothing. It is creditable to his public spirit that he should have given us his valuable—or rather invaluable—services for a year after the time when he might have retired on full salary. The increase in the House Expenses has been caused by an increased expenditure for fuel, principally in consequence of a system of ventilation now in use at the Museum. The Museum has become possessed of many valuable acquisitions. From Mr. Woodhouse, who for some time was Secretary to the Governor of Corfu, we have received a large number of coins, of the estimated value of £4,000, and Mr. Christy has presented us with a valuable collection of ethnographical specimens. The Trustees have purchased for £6,000, 90,000 specimens composing Mr. Cuming's collection of shells, which I believe is a collection almost unique, and of the greatest value in the study of conchology. I will not detain the Committee further than to remind them that year after year the fine collection of objects in the British Museum is injured, lost, and buried, owing to the want of room. I think no one who moves this Estimate will do his duty who does not call attention to that circumstance, though, perhaps, he may do so to but little effect. I will just mention two or three instances in illustration of what I mean. The beautiful specimens from Halicarnassus 1554 and the tomb of Mausolus are now, as the Committee is aware, placed in a glass structure between the columns of the portico of the building—a most unsightly and unseemly spectacle to those who enter; and not only so, but the structure in which they are put away is by no means air-tight, but admits both damp and dirt, so that the specimens are receiving great and permanent injury because we cannot obtain grants in order to put them in a proper receptacle. Then, the collection of animals is another instance. The stuffed animals form a beautiful collection; but instead of being so displayed that they may be seen with ease and advantage they are arranged in squadrons, I do not know how many deep, and if you want to see an animal you have to displace four or five to get at it—to the great injury of the specimens every time they are moved. The third instance is that of Mr. Christy's collection, a magnificent gift, for which we are obliged from want of room to hire premises in Victoria Street—two or three miles from the Museum—to stow the specimens away, our main business being to find receptacles for the treasures acquired partly by the munificence of Parliament and partly by that of private donors. But that is not all the mischief that is done. There is besides the danger of fire, which no one can sufficiently be acquainted with. We had a fire lately in the bookbinders' room, and what would have been the consequences if the valuable collection of books had all been burnt? Besides, therefore, the difficulty arising from the want of means of stowing things away, and the difficulty of access, there is the greatest risk of their perishing by fire. Thus this beautiful collection of shells which we purchased at so large a cost we are obliged to put away in drawers, and no one will be able to see them except one who knows what we have done with them. The fact is, the munificence of the country supplies the Trustees with large sums with which we purchase valuable collections from year to year, and then they are put away in some hole or corner where nobody can see them. I hope this state of things will soon be put an end to.
§ MR. HENRY SEYMOUR
objected to the statement of his right hon. Friend that the condition of the British Museum, as far as he regarded the location of the collections, was the fault of that House. The fault lay with a certain number of gentlemen who were determined to break 1555 up the British Museum into parts against the declared wish of the public and the House, as expressed on several occasions. These gentlemen desired to carry the Natural History Collection to South Kensington, and for that reason opposed all proposals for enlarging the building. That was the reason why the Museum was becoming every year more crowded, and those valuable marbles were perishing from the effects of our climate, and why we could not enjoy the advantage of the many collections stored away in the cellars, nor have the prints displayed. This question of location had been made a battle-ground between the various departments of the Museum; and the literary department, to which his right hon. Friend belonged, and at the head of which was Mr. Panizzi, were anxious to turn out the scientific department, which was anxious to remain where it was, and have more room for its collections. It would be a great pity to divide the collections. There was plenty of space to be had around the Museum, and the late Duke of Bedford, who owned the whole of the property surrounding the Museum, had most liberally offered the greatest facilities for providing additional room. The right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary was for accepting the offer, but the right hon. Member for South Lancashire (Mr. Gladstone) and the right hon. Member for Calne refused it, and it was owing to his right hon. Friend and some other gentlemen that the public were not now enjoying those magnificent collections, unparalleled in the world, as they ought to do. There was a vast deal of room in the British Museum quite sufficient to hold a much larger portion of the collections than was exhibited at present, but those gentlemen absolutely refused to allow one penny to be spent upon these premises, in order that the want of space might appear every year the greater. He did not see why, looking to the difficulty of settling the question as to separating or keeping the collections together, the trustees should not put some of them, such as those of Mr. Christy, in one or two houses, which they might easily rent at a low rate near the Museum. That was a feasible plan, and he would recommend it to his right hon. Friend. With regard to the fire of which the danger was so imminent according to his right hon. Friend, why was it that this bookbinding establishment was fixed in the Museum itself? Assuredly the 1556 Trustees might remove that and other such preparatory establishments. Whatever decision was ultimately adopted by the House a considerable time must elapse before suitable buildings could be provided. Why, then, should not the Trustees make arrangement, at any rate for some years to come, for the temporary exhibition of those portions of the collections which might be least injured by moving? With regard to the stuffed animals, for instance, it would be extremely easy for them to hire a domicile for them near the Museum. He regretted extremely that this liability to interference with what had been the dream of Professor Owen's life should have deprived the public of his inestimable services for so long a time. The question of separation or otherwise ought to be brought to an issue; and, though he was in favour of keeping the collection together he was quite willing to be bound by a vote of the House, and would never after that raise the question. It bad been urged upon the late Chancellor of the Exchequer that if the property surrounding the British Museum were bought for the purpose of enlargement it need not all be pulled down at the same time; the process of conversion might be gradual, and meanwhile the rents of the houses left standing would yield a considerable interest upon the outlay. The adoption of such a course would get rid in the first place of all difficulty as to site, and the House would hear no more of the British Museum question for a long time to come. A settlement so desirable had only been defeated by those who were anxious to make a sort of science and art town at Kensington. His right hon. Friend, he hoped, would rise again and state the course which he was prepared to recommend, or at least give an assurance that there was some prospect of the Trustees agreeing among themselves upon a scheme to be recommended to the Government as a final settlement of the question.
§ MR. NEATE
thought that the department of Art had better be separated from the Museum. He thought means might be taken to increase the interest of some of the contents. For instance, the Museum contained a most valuable collection which, he was sorry to say, he had never seen. He thought these might be placed in a separate gallery, and the choicest of them exhibited in monthly rotation, giving novelty and variety to what was to be seen within the building.
§ MR. AYRTON
complained that the old irregularity of moving the British Museum Estimates from the Opposition, instead of the Treasury Bench, had been repeated. His right hon. Friend the Member for Calne (Mr. Lowe) could not be responsible for any course which the Government might take, and therefore it was idle for the Committee to discuss the very interesting question he had brought under their notice. When the right hon. Gentleman who had usually moved these Estimates (Mr. Walpole) became a Member of the Government a very desirable opportunity of terminating this inconvenient practice was afforded; but on the present occasion the right hon. Gentleman was not even present, and with the exception of the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Admiralty, who, of course, had nothing to do with these Estimates, the Government were not present. What, therefore, was the use of continuing the discussion, since there was no one to inform Members of the intentions of those who sat on the Treasury Benches? But he did not address himself merely to the existing Government. On the occasion when this subject was last under consideration the attention of the then Chancellor of the Exchequer was called to the expediency of rendering the National collections available as much for the instruction and enjoyment of the humbler classes as of persons of wealth and station. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Lancashire (Mr. Gladstone) then stated that he thought the question one eminently deserving the consideration of the Government, and held out expectations that at no distant day measures would be taken to accomplish so desirable an end. But from that day to this nothing further had been heard upon the subject; no results had manifested themselves of the promised investigations and deliberations. It was deplorable to think that the National collections were locked up and put out of sight when they might be made available for the gratification, instruction, and amusement of thousands who were closely occupied all day. Private persons having anything to exhibit found no difficulty in holding an exhibition in the evening; and at South Kensington they found that, even in a Government establishment, the enterprize of the general Superintendent had enabled him to deal successfully with a problem which at the British Museum was insuperable. The objection of additional 1558 expense was put forward whenever evening exhibitions were suggested; but, properly handled, these additional opportunities of seeing the collections were really opportunities for diminishing the charge on the Exchequer. Society always included a number of persons who would never think of visiting an exhibition that was free, but would flock to it eagerly when an admission fee was demanded. Yielding, therefore, to the caprices of such people, by establishing pay-nights they could be made to defray the cost of admitting others gratuitously, on the well-known principle that "a fool and his money are soon parted." Nothing could be better than to make the vanity of the rich pay for the necessities of the poor, and he did not see why that principle should not be applied to the British Museum.
§ MR. BENTINCK
said, he had listened with much pleasure to the remarks of the hon. Member for Poole, and also to those of the hon. Member for the Tower Hamlets, with whom he concurred in regretting that the Vote was not moved from the Treasury Bench. He had hoped the House would have received from the right hon. Gentleman some satisfactory information as to the course that had been determined upon for providing accommodation for the National collections which were now heaped together at the British Museum. The Select Committee presided over by the hon. Member for Galway (Mr. Gregory) had inquired especially into this subject, when Mr. Oldfield, a most experienced officer of the Museum, submitted a plan by which, at a moderate cost, the Trustees would have acquired the space necessary for the enlargement of the Museum. He should like to know whether there was any intention of carrying out that plan? There was another subject on which he desired information. There was at present at the South Kensington Museum a very valuable collection of coins. It was collected, he believed, by a gentleman who was an officer of the British Museum. He offered it, in the first instance, to the Trustees of the Museum, by whom it was declined; and it was afterwards purchased by the South Kensington Museum. Now it seemed to him that the managers of our great public collections ought not to be in the position of bidding against one another. There ought to be a particular Museum for each particular class, or, at any rate, the purchase of articles of each particular class ought to be confided to a single authority.
said, the collection of coins to which the hon. Member (Mr. Bentinck) had referred was sixty-four in number. Those coins, which had been purchased for £63, consisted of sixty-one Greek and Roman coins and three Italian coins, of the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries, and were in circulation for the purposes of art education, and, if he was correctly informed, was in possession of the South Kensington Museum before he had any connection with it. Since then a gentleman (Mr. Brook), in a patriotic spirit, made a present to the department of a vast number of curious objects, among which were thirty watches manufactured 200 or 300 years ago, and his collection of coins, and of course they were joyfully accepted.
§ MR. GOLDNEY
would suggest to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Calne, as the representative of the Trustees of the Museum, that a portion of the houses at present occupied by the officers of the establishment might be appropriated to the purposes of the collections, and that a great deal of valuable space for the accommodation of the collection would thus be obtained. The displaced officials would, of course, be provided with residences elsewhere.
§ MR. ALDERMAN LUSK
hoped that the House would at length deal in some effectual mode with the subject, and would rescue the collections from the discreditable position in which they were at present placed. It was shameful to the country that, having such splendid collections in natural science and art, we should not know what to do with them.
§ MR. BENTINCK
said, he believed the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Bruce) was mistaken in supposing that the coins to which he had referred were now in circulation. If he was not misinformed, they were coins of a very high order, and the South Kensington Museum had paid no less than £300 for them.
adhered to his previous statement. The hon. Gentleman (Mr. Bentinck) seemed to hold that medals and coins were the same thing. The collection he referred to was a valuable collection of medals illustrative of the art.
§ MR. LOWE
There are both coins and medals at South Kensington Museum, and are most legitimately there as being works of art. The coins, too, are in circulation, but not in the sense in which my hon. Friend (Mr. Bentinck) spoke. People do not think they can spend them; they are 1560 in circulation in the sense that they are sent round the country with other objects in order that people may learn something about ancient coins. The general principle my hon. Friend lays down with regard to the departments is quite incontestable. It is the imperative duty of the two departments mentioned not to bid against each other for the possession of any collections. There have been times years ago when this happened, but we have taken most elaborate precautions against anything of that kind in future. I can hardly say that it is not possible that such proceedings can ever occur again; but whenever anything comes to the knowledge of either of the departments trenching upon the limits of the other, we always confer with each other, and arrange matters so that the collision which my hon. and learned Friend said was so detrimental shall not take place. I will now proceed to answer the numerous questions which have been asked, to the best of my power. The notice given me having been very short, I have not been able properly to prepare myself for the task. I had also been under the impression that my right hon. Friend the present Secretary for the Home Department would have moved the Estimates. An hon. Gentleman (Mr. H. Seymour) has put a question to me as to the necessity of doing the bookbinding on the premises. Now, as a matter of discipline and precaution, it is very undesirable that valuable articles of this kind should be moved out of the control of the officers of the establishment; and we believe also that there are legal objections to doing so. The Act of Parliament requires that when once we have possession of a thing we must keep it; and we have no power to remove or lend anything, or send anything out of the Museum for any purpose. This observation applies also to the suggestion of hiring houses in the immediate vicinity. Were this to be done it would be attended by great relaxation of discipline, and the danger of fire and theft would be increased; and there would further be great difficulties in the management and discipline of the persons removed from the building to separate places. I do not mean to say that many things ought not to be done if we are to look upon the present state of things as a permanent one. But I refuse to look at the matter in this light, for I do not believe the people of this country wish us to go on piling all these magnificent treasures one upon the other, 1561 and in reality burying many of them so that nobody can be the better for our possession of them. I can only say that if that were the wish of the people, I, for one, would not take the time and trouble I do in looking after this institution. This could not be expected of any man unless the public would fairly do their part and give a suitable place for the storing of these things. It is absolutely necessary that something should be done. I will now proceed to give an answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Poole (Mr. H. Seymour.) It is quite true that if we were to pull the building about from top to bottom, altering a staircase here, and pulling a partition down there, and throwing out some excrescence in another place, we might cram more things into the premises; but I think that in following such a course we should not be acting wisely. It would not be judicious to spend large sums of money for a temporary object, which could only stave the thing off for a year or two and give no satisfaction. I have been asked the opinion of the Trustees on this matter. Now, the Trustees have been charged unjustly, I think, with standing in the way of effecting improvements. The Gentlemen who say so greatly over-estimate the power of the Trustees. I am not entitled to give any opinion on behalf of this body of gentlemen. There was a division some years ago—long before I was a Trustee— in which it was carried by a very small majority that the collection should be separated; but I am not able to say what is the opinion of the Trustees on this subject at the present time. The House of Commons have taken it into their own hands, and some years ago a Committee was appointed, which presented a Report upon the matter. The Trustees know their duty too well to attempt to set up their own opinions against those of the House. It was their duty to point out to the House the difficulty which beset them owing to want of adequate space, and it was then the duty of the House to decide what provision it would make. My hon. Friend greatly exaggerates the influence and the powers of the Trustees if he believes that they either can, or desire if they could, to set up their views in opposition to those of the House. They would cheerfully acquiesce in any method the House thought desirable to adopt to remove the present scandal. There are different opinions among us, as there are among any 1562 other body of men meeting together for a public object. It is therefore mere nonsense to lay the blame on the Trustees. If my own opinion is desired, I may say that it would be impolitic to spend £50,000 for an acre of land in the immediate vicinity of the Museum, when you can get it, probably, for something like one-sixth part of the value in a place where you could do justice to the whole of the natural history collection. [An hon. MEMBER: Where?] At South Kensington. This is my individual opinion, and I have had a great deal to do with these matters. I say again, it is for the House to come to a decision in the matter, and then it will be our duty to give all the assistance which we are able in making that decision as efficient and beneficial as possible. All I say is, do something. Do not leave these valuable treasures to be buried and to perish before your eyes. Then an hon. Gentleman (Mr. Neate) has most justly complained that a collection of most beautiful engravings cannot be seen. They are exhibited in the Library of King George III., the only place available, and are changed occasionally so as to give the public a fresh sight. But we ought to have a room where they can be exhibited on a large scale; it does not exist, and we have no means whatever of providing it. At present there is, in fact, no room for showing engravings; what we have is but a pis aller. Another hon. Gentleman has observed that the residences of the officers take up a great deal of room. There is an advantage in the present arrangement in that respect, because it increases the security against fire, theft, and disorders of various kinds. This was fully shown in the case of the recent fire, when a very heavy national lost was averted by the activity of the officers resident within the building. A fire of a few minutes would be sufficient to destroy a million pounds worth of property in the British Museum, and which no amount of money could replace. We do not, however, believe it to be the wish of the House of Commons that we should turn out the officers and appropriate the room they at present occupy. With regard to the question of moving the Estimates dwelt upon by my hon. Friend the Member for the Tower Hamlets (Mr. Ayrton), who says I have no business to make the Motion, I can only remark that I by no means coveted the duty, and that if he will persuade the Trustees or the Government to believe this I shall be very much obliged to him. I do 1563 not suppose that any one who has had much to do with moving Estimates would be particularly covetous of the task. The hon. Member, however, does not seem to understand the exact position of the matter. He says we have no power to propose the Estimates; but the statement is not precisely correct. We have just the same power over our Estimates as any department of the Government has over the Estimates connected with it. A Finance Committee prepares the Estimates; they are submitted to the Treasury like the Estimates of other Departments, where alterations, if deemed necessary, are made, and then they are presented to this House. I have just the same power of proposing anything as the head of any Department who is a Member of the Government; the difference is that the Trustees are not responsible to Parliament. It may be very proper—I do not say it is not—that a Member of the Government should move this Estimate; but if this were to be determined on, you would either have to find a Member of the Government who would give up his time and be at a great deal of trouble to master all the details of the British Museum, or else you would have the Estimates moved by somebody who knows nothing about them. Nothing would be easier than for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to move the Estimates, but it would be impossible for him to answer questions as to details or give the required information. The business of the Museum might be made a Department of the Government, and perhaps that would be a beneficial change; but then the individual who moved the Estimates, unless he were such a person as the present Home Secretrary, would require at his elbow a Trustee to prompt him—which could not be a very satisfactory state of things. Therefore, as long as the present arrangement exists we do well in having the Estimates moved by a Trustee; though I should readily acquiesce in any decision the House might come to on the matter. As to opening the Museum in the evening, in speaking upon that subject I feel that I am treading upon somewhat delicate ground. The remarks of my hon. Friend on this point are founded on a misconception of the object of the Museum. I hold it to be a place neither for exhibition nor for education; it is a receptacle for curious, scarce, and valuable objects, collected for the promotion of knowledge in the higher branches of scientific inquiry. Its function is quite 1564 different from that of the South Kensington Musuem, where the collection is infinitely less precious and costly. The object of that institution is undoubtedly the advancement of popular education and instruction, and everything is arranged there with that view. This is not the case with the British Museum. I think that if we give facilities for inspecting the collections intrusted to our keeping to those who really can understand and appreciate them, we do our duty. I do not think it is consistent with the main end of all such institutions as the British Museum to make what is called great places of popular instruction of them, merely for vast masses of people to come in and look at the collections, and then pass out. Under these circumstances, I hold that it is not desirable to open the British Museum in the evening; but, whether it is or is not desirable, I am sure it cannot be done at present. We tried the experiment once on a summer evening between six and seven o'clock, in order to give the working classes an opportunity of visiting the Museum if they pleased; but nobody came. Mr. Braidwood, I may add, the very able head of the Fire Brigade, who lost his life three or four years ago in attempting to extinguish a fire in the Borough, reported in the strongest manner against lighting the present building at night, inasmuch as to do so would, in his opinion, be to incur the greatest danger. I therefore think that it would be inexcusable on our part if, in order to meet a plausible popular cry, we were to expose these inestimable collections to the risk of being destroyed by fire. It is quite true that any new building might be lighted like the South Kensington Museum in an improved manner, but until we have greater means of security than are at present possessed, I think that it would be most unwise to make such an experiment. The Trustees have no policy of their own, except to suggest the purchase of land for the erection of a new building, which will relieve the present collections from their dangerous and inconvenient position. I am sure, whatever differences of opinion may exist on this subject, they are all merged in the one desire that the Government and the House of Commons would take some step to remedy this great scandal, and do away with the absurdity and folly of locking up wealth of this inestimable kind, when by the expenditure of a mi- 1565 serable pittance of a few thousand pounds it might be turned to the greatest profit and made subservient to the public interests.
The hon. Member for Whitehaven (Mr. Bentinck) has said that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Calne (Mr. Lowe) knew nothing about the collections at South Kensington, and that I knew less. I do not know what ground he has for coming to that conclusion. I may not indeed have arrived to such a high standard of information as my hon. Friend, but I now hold in my hand the Returns from which I spoke.
§ MR. BENTINCK
expressed his regret at having said anything calculated to offend the right hon. Gentleman, but he did not intend that his words should convey the meaning put upon them.
§ MR. HENRY SEYMOUR,
in answer to the remarks of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Calne, that land at South Kensington might be purchased at one-sixth the price of land in Bloomsbury, said, that the land at South Kensington was, as a matter of fact, a good deal dearer than at the latter place, and that when the right hon. Gentleman spoke of the possibility of procuring land at a cheaper rate at the former place, he must have had in view the land which was at the disposal of the Commissioners of the Great Exhibition, which was public property, but which they were no doubt willing to give up on very moderate terms. But he (Mr. H. Seymour) had frequently asked the question, without receiving a satisfactory reply, why the land in South Kensington was not sold to advantage, and the money arising from the sale appropriated to the purchase of the additional land required in the neighbourhood of the British Museum? There was no reason why, so far as he could see, the Trustees of the Museum should not remove some portion of the collections there to some of the houses in its immediate vicinity, which would, for all practical purposes, be as convenient as some portions of the existing building itself. He regretted that the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for the Home Department had not given the House the benefit of his opinion on the subject, and he would appeal to him to say whether he did not think a Bill might not be introduced and passed before the close of the Session, carrying into effect the suggestion which he had just made, and thus giving Professor Owen room to realize a large portion of his plan.
§ MR. LOWE
desired to explain one thing. He could assure the hon. Gentleman that the land in the hands of the Commissioners of the Great Exhibition to which he had referred as being public property, was absolutely the property of the Commissioners, and was entirely at their disposal for the purposes of science and art. Originally, a sum of public money was advanced to the Commissioners to enable them to purchase the land, but it had been long repaid, and they owed the public nothing.
§ MR. WALPOLE
I can assure my right hon. Friend the Member for Calne (Mr. Lowe) that I am quite delighted the duty of moving this Estimate has devolved upon him, for I know of nobody better calculated — I will say so well calculated—to deal with a question which bears upon the interests of science and art. I differ from him in many points, but I quite agree with him on one — that some decided course must be taken on this matter. There are but two ways of dealing with the subject. You must either determine to separate the collections now in the Museum or buy more land in Bloomsbury. The argument for keeping the collections together is that it is desirable they should be all under one roof, so that persons wishing to study them might have an opportunity of doing so without going from one place to another. In favour of the separation of those collections it is, upon the other hand, urged that they would by that means be fairly and properly distinguished from one another. For my own part, I have always been for keeping them together, while my right hon. Friend has been an advocate for separation. I am, however, perfectly willing to take either course, provided you do not heap those stores on one another as at present in such a manner as to render them really not as available as they ought to be to those who wish to make them objects of study. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Poole wishes to know what course the Government have made up their minds to adopt, and appeals to me to say whether some measure on the subject might not easily be passed through both Houses of Parliament, even at this period of the Session. Opinions on the subject, however, are so divergent, and the difficulty of reconciling them is so enormous, that you may depend upon it it will require a very long time indeed 1567 for Parliament to deal with the question. All that I can say on the part of the Government is, that they are fully alive to the importance of the question, and that it is one which will have their serious attention during the recess. More than that I do not feel justified in saying. Before I pass from this subject I may be permitted to pay a tribute to a gentleman of extraordinary talent, who has devoted almost the whole of his life to the promotion of the advantages of the institution over which he had lately presided—I refer to Mr. Panizzi. It would ill become me to allow these Estimates to pass without paying the tribute which is so well deserved to the extraordinary powers of mind of this gentleman and which have been entirely devoted to the institution of which he has had charge.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (3.) £133,928, to complete the sum for the Science and Art Department.
§ MR. BENTINCK
rose to call attention to the Vote for the new permanent buildings at South Kensington; to the revised plan and Estimates for them which had been submitted to the Treasury. Every year brought a great increase in the Estimates for this Department. The Estimate for 1861 was £94,000; in 1864–5 it had risen to £135,580; in 1865–6 to £162,000; and the present Estimate was for £174,000. It would be difficult to say where this large increase was to stop. In addition to that £174,000 it was now proposed to expend the sum of £420,000 to complete the plans for the New Buildings, though in the Report a modified plan estimated to cost £220,000 only was suggested. The case made out was this:—In 1860 the Committee recommended the plan of Captain Fowke, estimated to cost £214,000. Of that sum £93,000 had been already spent, £39,000 was being expended, and £82,000 remained to be laid out. That expenditure, however, was only to cover a space of 6,000,000 cubic feet; but it was now proposed to cover 13,000,000 cubic feet, with permanent buildings, at a total cost of £482,000. He, however, could see no reason for taking this step. Even if the space were required, he contended that the work should be done at a less extravagant outlay. If the buildings were wanted at all they might be of a plain character; but supposing it was desirable that they should be of a highly ornamental character, he considered the plan now 1568 adopted was not one which would secure a satisfactory result. Captain Fowke was not an architect, and did not possess the necessary knowledge for designing a building of this important character. He objected to the dilettante system of architecture in vogue at the Kensington Museum —to erecting a bit of one style here, another there—so that anything like harmony was out of the question. If it was intended to have a building of great architectural pretensions an architect of eminence should be employed, and his design should be submitted to the House before asking for the money necessary for its adoption. He wished to know what were the intentions of Her Majesty's Government with regard to this expenditure, and whether they intended to adopt the plan estimated to cost £420,000, or the modified plan at £220,000; and, if the latter, whether the expenditure would be kept to that amount, and not increased to the £420,000 at some future period, and whether, if they adopted a design of great architectural pretension, they would lay the plans before Parliament before asking it to vote the money?
said, his hon. Friend (Mr. Bentinck) had commenced by complaining that he had not introduced this Vote by a preliminary statement; but he believed it was not usual to make any preliminary statement on proposing the Vote in relation to Science and Art; although it was usual to do so on introducing the Education Vote as he had done two nights ago. He would now, however, give some explanation of the increase in this Estimate as compared with last year. The first item of increase was one in which he took considerable interest —namely, £2,800 for the School of Naval Architecture; but that was a mere transfer from the Navy Estimates; and it involved no additional charge. The next item was £3,000 for the National Portrait Gallery, which had given so much gratification to the public, and it was expected that the whole of the expense would be recouped by payments for admission. Then there was £3,200 for institutions in Ireland in conformity with the recommendation of the Committee presided over by the hon. Member for Galway (Mr. Gregory.) The next item was £1,500 for re-painting and lighting the Geological Museum, which was to be thrown open to the public at night. These, with some smaller items of a similar character, made up the increase of £12,087. Then there was the esti- 1569 mate for building at South Kensington. He was asked what were the intentions of the Government in that respect; but it could hardly be expected that, having so recently taken office, they could have yet been able to turn their attention to this subject. The late Board of Treasury had sanctioned an additional expenditure of £195,000, which was £205,000 less than the estimate for the completion of the whole of the general plan proposed by Captain Fowke. The whole question would be considered before preparing the Estimates for next year, and the Government would be at liberty either to adopt the scheme of work sanctioned by the late Government, or any modification of it they might think proper. He could not agree to refer the plans to a Committee. He did not know of any building erected in London of late years which appeared more suitable for its purpose or in better taste than the quadrangle at Kensington Museum, and he thought they had every reason to lament the premature death of the gallant and distinguished gentleman who had designed it.
thought it would not be out of place if he gave to the Committee a short history of the establishment at South Kensington. In 1856 the sum of £15,000 was voted for a temporary iron building. Then there was voted £10,000 towards removing the offices and schools from Marlborough House to South Kensington. In 1857, £3,500 was voted for accommodation for the Sheepshanks Collection, in value about £60,000; and in 1859, £12,198 for the Vernon and Turner Collections. For these temporary objects the sum of £40,698 had from time to time been voted by Parliament. In 1860 the right hon. Member for Calne (Mr. Lowe), then administering the Department, applied to the Treasury for a grant of money to erect permanent buildings, the valuable collections of pictures and works of art placed in these temporary buildings not being securely housed. The Government hesitated about the permanent extension of these buildings until the policy of erecting a museum at South Kensington had been thoroughly investigated. In consequence of that determination the right hon. Gentleman moved for a Committee. It was very impartially chosen, and, after fully considering the subject, they reported unanimously in favour of establishing a museum. A plan was laid before them, in which the brick 1570 buildings, already built, were brought into use. The Committee recommended a further expenditure of £44,000 for buildings of urgent necessity. The Report stated that the museum was in course of formation. The Committee thought it unwise to commit the country to the heavy expense in anticipation of its wants, and they recommended that any plan which should be adopted for the buildings to be erected should be capable of being worked into a general plan, which would "at once fully occupy the ground, and be susceptible of a proper amount of decoration." Captain Fowke's plan, submitted to the Committee, was roughly estimated at £214,000. The Department was feeling its way. This was a new work, and it was impossible to foresee the direction and extent of its possible development. As matter of fact, several departments had sprung up in connection with the institution. The Science Department had been founded since the Report of the Committee, and was working very successfully and economically. The School of Naval Architecture had also been placed there. A most valuable educational library had been collected chiefly by gifts from publishers and private contributions, where the best books on education could be consulted in almost every modern language. There was also a magnificent Art library — probably the finest in the world. These things could not be foreseen; nor could it be anticipated how far private liberality would extend. Twice it had fallen to his lot to move for grants of £20,000 to extend the permanent buildings on plans which had been submitted to the Select Committee, but which had neither been specifically approved by them, nor submitted to Parliament. On moving the Estimates last year, he had undertaken to furnish the House with a distinct statement of the intentions of the Government with respect to the buildings, and Captain Fowke had been directed to prepare a plan completely occupying the ground. This he had done. The plan submitted to the Select Committee in 1860 was estimated to give about 6,500,000 cubic feet of building at a cost of £214,000. That prepared in 1865 provided 13,072,456 cubic feet at a total estimated cost of £520,000. It was a plan of great beauty and skilful arrangement, but the late Government considered it to be larger than was required for the immediate wants of 1571 the Museum, and proposed to execute only about three-fifths of it at a cost, including previous expenditure, of £314,000. The sums already voted amounted to £99,000; the Vote asked for the present year was £20,000; and it was proposed to extend the expenditure of the remaining £195,000 over six years. The correspondence on this subject with the Treasury had been printed in the Report of the Science and Art Department for the present year, and he should have been prepared, had he continued in office, to have asked the sanction of Parliament to act upon it. ft was, of course, competent to the present Government to adhere to Captain Fowke's original plan, but he earnestly hoped they would not do so, as it would be totally inadequate to supply the present requirements of the Musuem. No public buildings of any pretensions to architectural beauty had ever been built on so economical a scale as those now in progress at South Kensington. The British Museum had cost £1,100,000, at a cost of 1s. 6d. per cubit foot. The cost per cubic foot of the Royal Exchange had been 11d., while that of the Houses of Parliament had been between 2s. and 3s. The estimated cost of the buildings at South Kensington, which had been tested by experience to be correct, was only 9d. per cubic foot.
§ MR. AYRTON
thought that any one reading the Report would have concluded that it was intended to commit the House by the present Vote to an expenditure of £434,000; but it was satisfactory to learn that, at present, no such scheme had been embarked in. With respect to the School of Naval Architecture, which had been established in the most inconvenient place in the metropolis, he wished to know the number of pupils, the mode of admission, and the fees paid by them.
replied that the number of pupils whose fees were paid by the Admiralty was twenty-six, in addition to eleven private students. During six months of the year the Admiralty pupils pursued the practical part of their education in the dockyard, receiving the scientific part during the other six months at South Kensington. For this latter object the School was very conveniently placed.
§ In answer to Mr. HENRY SEYMOUR,
explained that the Principal and Vice Principal had fixed salaries, the other officials being paid by fees.
§ MR. AYRTON
could not understand why twenty-six youths should be educated at the public expense and at a cost of £100 a year each.
believed that no sum of money included in the Estimates was more profitably expended. The £2,800 was not for the mere benefit of these twenty-six Admiralty pupils, and of the other pupils admitted, but also for the general advancement of the science of naval architecture. There was no other way of giving apprentices in the dockyards the scientific part of their education but by the establishment of a School for Naval Architecture, without which our ships would be built, as was once the case in this country, by what was vulgarly called the "rule of thumb." The consequence of the want of scientific instruction at one time was that our ships were a disgrace to the country, and during the great war we were always glad to get a French vessel and build one like it. When a member of the Board of Admiralty, many years ago, under the Government of the late Sir Robert Peel, he (Mr. Corry) had been instrumental in establishing a School of Naval Architecture at Portsmouth, to which selected pupils were sent from the other dockyards for instruction, and this school had produced very valuable results—as a proof of which he might say that Mr. Reed, the present Chief Constructor of the Navy, was educated there—but some years afterwards his unfortunate School was suppressed by Sir James Graham, on his return to the Admiralty as First Lord—since that time there had been no School of Naval Architecture until the establishment of the School at South Kensington; and it was of the highest importance to this great naval and mercantile country that we should have a supply of young men, scientifically educated as naval architects, in order that our ships might compete with those of other nations.
§ MR. HENRY SEYMOUR
said, he did not think the education of twenty-six youths justified so large an expenditure, and inquired why all the apprentices in the dockyards did not receive scientific instruction.
said, that the general run of apprentices who became working shipwrights did not require such a scientific education, but that the most promising pupils were selected in order that they might become naval architects.
§ MR. ALDERMAN LUSK
thought that, 1573 when so many millions were spent for warlike purposes, the most liberal construction ought to be put on anything that was done in the way of education.
§ MR. HENRY SEYMOUR
said, he thought the money would be much better spent at the dockyards in giving the rudiments of a scientific education to all the apprentices. He could not see why Professors should not give scientific instruction at dockyards to all who wished to receive it.
pointed out that the services of many of the most eminent men could only be obtained in London.
§ MR. AYRTON
said, he saw no necessity for a certain number of youths being educated at the public expense, for if the Government required the services of persons possessing particular qualifications they had only to announce the fact and plenty of candidates would present themselves, the best of whom could be selected. The present system was most extravagant and tended to secure incapacity instead of capacity, a principle which seemed to be peculiarly predominant in the navy.
§ MR. WATKIN
said, the question was whether a country like this should have a School of Naval Architecture, and whether, if so, £2,800 was too large a sum to be devoted to that purpose. The expense last year was £4,000, so that the cost had been reduced, and the School was the nucleus of a system of instruction with reference to shipbuilding, the advantage of which was apparent from every discussion on the Navy Estimates in that House. He was glad to see the expenditure on the South Kensington Museum increased, because money could not be spent more beneficially than in providing the means of educating the people.
§ SIR JOHN PAKINGTON
said, he approved the practical view of the subject which had been taken by the hon. Member for Stockport (Mr. Watkin.) The question under discussion was of importance, not only to the Royal Navy, but also to the mercantile marine, who derived the greatest benefit from the institution. The late Admiralty had acted most advantageously for the interest of the country in establishing the School of Naval Architecture. Sir James Graham most unfortunately did away with the old School of Naval Architecture, and the want of which had ever since been greatly felt, as the maritime interests of the country absolutely required the existence of such an institution. A 1574 complaint had been made that the School was established at South Kensington instead of at the dockyards; but it was impossible to expect that the eminent gentlemen who attended at South Kensington should be able to go down to lecture at the dockyards. Moreover, the pupils only attended the School at South Kensington during the winter months, so that they were at liberty to devote themselves practically to their profession during the summer.
§ MR. BENTINCK,
after expressing his thanks for the explanation that had been given by the right hon. Gentleman, wished to ask a question as to the sum of £700 for pictures that had been purchased during the past year for the South Kensington Museum. He thought there should be no competition between that institution and the National Gallery with reference to the purchase of pictures, and that as to ancient pictures the proper place for them was the National Gallery.
said, he had seen every picture that had been purchased for the South Kensington Museum during the past year, and he could therefore state that, with the exception of a few water colour pictures, the greater part of the money was expended in order to add to the Sheepshanks Collection, for the purpose of giving a more complete illustration of contemporaneous English art. The few ancient pictures that had been purchased from time to time had been bought because they exhibited some peculiar style of decoration or some curiosity of costume.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (4.) £254,130, to complete the sum for Public Education in Ireland.
§ MR. LEFROY
said, he regretted that Her Majesty's Government had not been able to make this Vote satisfactory to the clergy of Ireland. He hoped that before the Estimate was proposed next year some arrangement would be made whereby the Protestant clergy of Ireland would be dealt with more satisfactorily.
§ MR. WHALLEY
said, that the object he had in view in intruding himself on the Committee was to ascertain, for the information of the House and the country, what was the nature of the education imparted to the Roman Catholic population by the Roman Catholic schools maintained by grants from the State. He believed that money granted for other purposes had been devoted to convent schools. 1575 The only object he had ever had in calling attention to the Maynooth and other similar grants was that information should be obtained as to the real nature of Roman Catholic education in Ireland. One of the results of that education was seen in the Fenian conspiracy. ["Oh, oh!"] He could not recognize that interruption as a legitimate one. What he maintained was, that the Roman Catholic priests either were the originators and supporters of Fenianism or they were not. If they were the House was directly responsible for every shilling which was voted to be placed under their control, and thus, in fact, for stimulating the chronic disaffection of the Roman Catholics in Ireland. If the priests were not supporters of Fenianism, then how was it that, with the means of education in their hands, and with the vast influence which they possessed over the people, they did not discountenance or prevent it? The House systematically refused to make any inquiry into this subject, often as he had urged it. But he desired to call the attention of the House to a publication prepared by the Rev. Mr. Magee, and which that gentleman had forwarded to the late Attorney General for Ireland for presentation to the House. Some of the statements in this petition were very remarkable. He referred to certain Papal documents called bulls, and he gave the names of some of them, such as that Super Soliditatem, Unigenitus, Excommunicatus, Pastor Bonus, and others. It was of these documents that Dr. Doyle once said that in any country where they were in force nothing but confusion could possibly happen—"bloodshed" and "slaughter," and "streets running with blood," were some of his expressions, and Dr. Doyle discovered that these documents were then, and they are now, in full force in Ireland, and are practically the law under which the Roman Catholic hierarchy administered their authority. He was not expressing his own opinion only when he said that Members returned from Ireland acted not from Imperial interests, but in the interest of a foreign Power antagonistic to principles, civil and religious, recognized in this country. He would go further, and say that it appeared, from the example of Dr. Pusey and his followers, that there was no reason why a person professing the Roman Catholic religion should not remain in the Church of England.
§ MR. W. ORMSBY GORE
rose to order, and wished to know whether the hon. 1576 Gentleman was speaking to the Question before the Committee.
said, the hon. Member for Peterborough had introduced a new subject, and appealed to him to consider the convenience of the Committee and the advanced period of the Session.
§ MR. WHALLEY
thought that the Committee would see that what he said did bear on the question under discussion. What he objected to was the recognition of a foreign Power, which, as far as it went, was fatal to the peace and in antagonism to the Constitution of this country. They were really granting this money for the teaching of principles which were embodied in the bulls of the foreign authority to which he had referred.
MAJOR STUART KNOX
rose to order, and desired to know whether the offensive remarks of the hon. Member towards Roman Catholics were in order?
said, he could not say the remarks of the hon. Member for Peterborough were not in order; but whether they were relevant to the subject before the House was another question.
§ MR. WHALLEY
said, he should not trouble the Committee further on this question, but he could not sit down without asking whether the Government did not inquire into the nature of the education given under this Vote?
said, that it appeared that in the English education the expense of management was 12 per cent, while as regarded the Irish education it was little over 4 per cent. The difference in the number of inspectors in each country was not so great, and he should like to know whether the payment in Ireland secured sufficient inspection?
§ MR. CHILDERS
said, that the hon. Member had overlooked certain items which affected the totals, and made the percentages of the cost of administration nearly identical.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (5.) £730, Commissioners of Education (Office Expenses), Ireland.
§ (6.) £5,793, to complete the sum for the University of London.
§ (7.) £14,857, to complete the sum for the Universities in Scotland.
§ (8.) £1,452, to complete the sum for the Queen's University in Ireland.1577
§ (9.) £2,250, to complete the sum for the Queen's Colleges in Ireland.
§ (10.) £700, Royal Irish Academy.
§ (11.) £1,000, to complete the sum for the National Gallery of Ireland.
§ (12.) £1,500, to complete the sum for the Belfast Theological Professors.
§ (13.) £11,892, to complete the sum for the National Gallery.
§ MR. HENRY SEYMOUR
said, he wished to know whether the present Government proposed to carry out that plan for the erection of an improved National Gallery which had met with the approval of their predecessors?
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, that the present Government intended to adhere to the general plan adopted by their predecessors, for the erection of the improved National Gallery; but if the hon. Gentleman would give notice of a Question upon that subject he (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) would be prepared to give more detailed information with respect to it.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (14.) £650, to complete the sum for the British Historical Portrait Gallery.
§ (15.) £5,059, to complete the sum for Magnetic and Meteorological Observations, &c.
§ (16.) £10,000, to complete the sum for the Universal Exhibition at Paris.
§ (17.) £2,300, Learned Societies in Great Britain.
§ (18.) £1,810 17s. 7d., Deficiencies in Civil Services for prior years.
§ (19.) £2,000, Monument to Viscount Palmerston.
§ (20.) £10,000, Works at Landguard Point.
§ (21.) £22,000, Temporary Commissions.
§ (22.) £43,635, Miscellaneous Expenses formerly defrayed from Civil Contingencies.
§ (23.) £3,052, Household of King of the Belgians.
§ (24.) £5,000, Vaccinators.
§ (25.) £95,489, Constabulary of Ireland.
§ (26.) £3,500, Merchants, Gold Coast.
§ (27.) £1,920, Treasury Chest.
§ (28.) £4,230, British Columbia.
§ (29.) £5,824, Emigration of Coolies.
§ (30.) £14,000, Inland Revenue Department.
§ (31.) £10,000, Instalment on a Ship to be built on the design of Captain Coles.1578
§ (32.) £5,926, Increased Pay and Allowances (Medical Officers, Royal Navy.)
§ MR. CHILDERS
said, it was at present extremely difficult to obtain properly qualified medical officers for either the army or navy. The medical officers of the army and navy appeared to be taken out of the body of young medical men in this country, no provision being made providing a special education suitable to the services with the exception of a few months' training. He had felt it his duty to read very carefully the evidence taken by the Committee appointed to consider the case of those officers; and it appeared to him that they did not complain so much of the inadequate amount of the pay given to them as of their rank and status in the services; and, consequently, they generally looked forward to retirement on pensions after fifteen or twenty years. Now, it could not be satisfactory to the body of combatant officers that the medical officers, who entered the service at about the same age as they themselves became lieutenants, should receive so much higher pay, and should be able to retire at an early age on so much better terms. He would suggest to the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War, and his right hon. Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty, that during the recess they might consider whether, instead of taking their chance of selecting from a body whose ideas of remuneration and early retirement were pitched so much higher than those of the combatant officers, it would not be wiser by early education to train up a body of medical officers who would look to the army or the navy as their profession for life.
thought that if there was one thing more desirable than another in connection with this subject it was to obtain for the army and navy the best medical men they could procure. In 1858 a warrant was issued regulating the rank and position of these officers, and very soon after it underwent an alteration in consequence of the dissatisfaction which was expressed with it. The hon. Gentleman (Mr. Childers) now appeared to be dissatisfied with the amended warrant; but he would ask the hon. Gentleman how could they possibly expect medical gentlemen to enter the army or the navy if it was announced to them that their status was going to be altered?
§ MR. CHILDERS
begged to say that his suggestion did not apply to gentlemen 1579 who had entered. It was entirely prospective.
would remind the hon. Gentleman that under the existing warrant direct inducements had been and were still held out to medical students to qualify themselves for the army and navy. The result of the alteration made in the terms of the Minute had not been to attract the number of candidates anticipated, for at the present moment there were actually more offices to fill, he believed, than candidates for those positions. The effect of the proposal now put forward he understood to be that instead of inviting the services of members of the profession generally a set of young men were to he sought out from some special Government establishment. He had not enjoyed the opportunity of considering the proposal as it might affect the navy; but it certainly ought to be the object of the House of Commons to secure for the army and navy the best men that could possibly be got.
said, as far as he could gather from the statement of the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Childers), it was proposed that young men should be attracted to the service by some scheme of early retirement. In that case young men would learn their business in the army or navy, and, as soon as they knew it, would be enabled to retire and earn more money elsewhere.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (33.) £18,000, for completion of Her Majesty's Ship Northumberland.
Sir, I rise to call for an explanation as to a matter of fact with a view to remove misapprehension. The right hon. Gentleman opposite (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) in the early part of the evening stated that the Vote of £4,970, which he then proposed, was in redemption of a pledge given by the Government of Lord Palmerston.
The right hon. Gentleman draws a distinction between a pledge given by Lord Palmerston and a pledge given by the Government of Lord Palmerston.
The right hon. Gentleman has been so reported to me. I beg, therefore, to state that no such pledge was given by the Government of Lord Palmerston in any shape; and as to Lord Palmerston, though I am informed that when first the subject was mentioned to him he was favourably disposed towards it, on further consideration he altered his mind.
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
The statement which I made was made after reading a letter written by Lord Palmerston, in which he says that, although objections were made by some of his Colleagues, he was still prepared to propose the Vote. I am further authorized in saying that the noble Earl the late Secretary of State for War also approved the Vote, and expressed an opinion to that effect in the other House.
The Secretary for War is not the organ of the Government for such a purpose, and he is able to express no binding opinion as to the grant of public money. This is a grant of public money. To obviate misapprehension, what I wish to state, without entering into further details as to the Vote in which the House has acquiesced, is this—that it never was a Vote adopted by Lord Palmerston's Government, and that Lord Palmerston himself did not approve the Vote.
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
I wish there should be no misunderstanding on this question. The statement I made was that this was an engagement on the part of Lord Palmerston. I have seen a letter from Lord Palmerston, written at a period subsequent to the original engagement, in which he says that objections had been urged against the Vote by some of his Colleagues—or by a Colleague—but that he still was prepared, if required, to propose it. On the faith of the original undertaking, and of that subsequent statement confirmatory of the original undertaking, the Estimates were made on which the Committee of the National Memorial to the Prince Consort acted. And it was in consequence of that understanding that a requisition was made by the artist, and that this proposition has been brought before the Committee.
There was no distinction between the Colleagues of Lord Palmerston and Lord Palmerston. The whole of the Colleagues of Lord 1581 Palmerston and Lord Palmerston himself were of the opinion I have stated.
§ House resumed.
§ Resolutions to be reported To-morrow at Twelve of the clock.