HC Deb 22 July 1869 vol 198 cc498-515

SUPPLY—considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

(1.) Question again proposed, That a sum, not exceeding £10,978, 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 1870, for the Salaries and Expenses of the National Gallery, including the purchase of Pictures.


said, that when he complained the other night of the practice of the National Gallery authorities in neglecting to buy pictures when they could be obtained at low prices, and afterwards purchasing them at excessive prices, the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Commissioner of Works replied to him in a tone peculiar to himself, denying in a somewhat excited and reckless manner certain statements which he (Mr. Bentinck) had then made. He must repeat that a picture dealer bought at a public auction a couple of pictures for £800, and a few months afterwards sold them to the Government for £1,800; and that another picture had been offered to the Government some years ago, was refused, and then purchased by the Government on the Continent at a high price. Then there was the question of scrubbing, and the reply made to him was in the nature of cross question and crooked answer. He had asked whether a certain picture by Rubens had been scrubbed; and the answer made by the Chief Commissioner was that a picture by Sir Joshua Reynolds and some others had been very well treated. This he granted, but if two or three pictures could be well cleaned, why could not they all be cleaned well? The fact was the Rubens had been in bad hands. He cared little for the opinion of the Attorney General; the facts could not be altered if the whole of the Government one after the other contradicted him, but the Attorney General's answer consisted of an attack on Sir George Beaumont, whose memory, however, would doubtless survive the stroke. The Attorney General had been cited as an authority because he was an accomplished artist. He had the good fortune to possess a work by Sir George Beaumont and another by the Attorney General, and he would be glad to exhibit them side by side and let their authors stand the test. He desired further to put a Question to the Chief Commissioner with reference to Sir Charles Eastlake's library—whether it would be added to any existing Art library or be placed in the National Gallery? He also desired, in the interest of Sir Charles Eastlake's family— as it was said that the pictures of Sir Charles Eastlake were to come to the country for the prices he had paid for them—to inquire what explanation the Government had to offer of the fact that £1,500 was to be paid for one of his pictures, which was bought by him some years ago at a public sale in London for less than £100? One of the pictures attributed to Melozzo da Forli, which had come into the hands of the Government in so extraordinary a manner, and which the Chief Commissioner said had never been in the country before the Government purchased it, was exhibited by the British Institution in Pall Mall in 1863, and was hawked all over London before and after this. For a long time it was exhibited at a temporary studio in the neighbourhood of Oxford Street. It had been offered to a gentleman of his acquaintance. His informant declined the picture on the ground that it was not by the Master to whom it was attributed, and that it was practically valueless on account of the extensive restorations it had undergone. The same informant and others assured him that this and the companion picture had been repaired by Mr. Ugo Baldi, and that a large portion of the works were by his hand. He desired to give to those who represented the Department in the House an opportunity of affording the explanation which the country had a right to expect at their hands; and therefore he would beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury the Question which stood in his name upon the Paper, and which was as follows:— Whether a picture exhibited in the British Institution, Pall Mall, from June until August 1863, under the following description—"No. 28—Subject: Prince Guidobaldo di Montefeltro, afterwards Duke of Urbino, kneeling before an allegorical figure; painter, Melozzo da Forli; proprietor, W. B. Spence, Esq." —is not one of the two pictures purchased for the National Gallery from Mr. W. Spence, of Florence, during the year 1866, and attributed to Melozzo da Forli?


said, he trusted the Committee would not renew or repeat the discussion which occurred the other night on this subject. They all knew the extreme devotion of the hon. Member to matters of art, but the Committee was now devoted to matters of business —[Mr. BENTINCK: And economy]—and economy, if they could effect it. There was no use spending another hour discussing the merits of ancient pictures, and the best mode of varnishing and cleaning them; for he never knew two gentlemen taking an interest in the subject who did not differ in opinion on these points. There was no mystery about the two pictures referred to in the Question. The Report of the Directors of the National Gallery, laid on the table so long ago as February, 1867, contained a very full account of these purchases, which stated very fairly what the pictures were. It did not guarantee them as being the works of the artist, but merely said that they were attributed to him; but the peculiarities of the pictures were described in nearly a page of print. The House had adopted the policy of placing the National Gallery under a Board of Trustees, with a stipendiary Director to assist the Board in the selection of pictures. The reason was that the selection of pictures was an affair of taste, about which everybody differed in opinion. It was perfectly useless for the Committee to discuss the proceedings of those Commissioners for the last half-dozen years, and to raise the question whether they had wisely exercised the powers with which they were invested by law. If the system was a bad one, nothing could be done but to change it altogether. So long as the Commissioners retained their powers, it was obvious the Committee of Supply could only vote the money to enable them to discharge their functions. If, therefore, he did not follow the hon. Member into details, he hoped it would not be supposed that there was any ground for reflecting on the proceedings of the Board, or for suggesting that they had not acted to the best of their judgment.


said, he wished to correct a statement made in his absence the other evening which conveyed a very erroneous impression to the House. The statement originated with the hon. Member for Whitehaven (Mr. Bentinck), who always spoke upon this subject in a manner which deserved attention. The statement was that the authorities of the National Gallery and those of the National Portrait Gallery were in the habit of bidding against each other at public sales. [Mr. BENTINCK: I did not say so; I never said that.] However, the general impression was that the statement was made, and it was represented that in consequence of the two institutions competing with each other the country lost the portrait of Hogarth at his easel, painted by himself. As a Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery, and one who took much interest in that institution, he ventured to say there was no foundation whatever for that statement, by whomsoever it was made. It was quite impossible that the trustees of the two institutions could bid against each other, because there subsisted between them the most cordial and confidential understanding, and they always communicated with each other upon a sale of any importance. The portrait of Hogarth at his easel was one which it was desirable the country should possess, and the Trustees of the National Gallery wished to acquire it, but on the whole it was thought that it would be more satisfactory to the country if it were placed in the National Portrait Gallery, and the Trustees of the Portrait Gallery undertook the duty of purchasing it; and they made an offer accordingly of the sum of 355 guineas. That, he believed, was a fair and proper offer; but a gentleman from Manchester defeated the country in this instance, because he was prepared to go to a much larger amount. Those Manchester gentlemen were formidable foes. He was sorry the country lost this interesting picture, but he must congratulate the country on its possession of such high-spirited men as our fellow-citizens of Manchester.


said, he must add a word as a Trustee of the National Gallery. The hon. Member for Whitehaven (Mr. Bentinek) was unfortunate in his remarks on this subject, for his hostile criticisms were generally made upon the pictures which were acknowledged to be among the best in the National Gallery. He had spoken of an Italian picture cleaner being employed at the National Gallery, and no one else; but a very eminent English cleaner (Mr. Merritt) was employed at the same time, and had cleaned a Rubens most successfully, removing a mass of brown varnish, and revealing the original colours of the picture. The remarks made respecting Sir Charles Eastlake's pictures were calculated to cause his family great pain. Sir Charles had expressed a wish that the pictures which he had purchased whilst Director of the National Gallery should, after his death, be offered to the nation for the price which he had paid for them. Upon these terms, the Trustees of the National Gallery had acquired some of those pictures. Two other pictures which had belonged to him before his connection with the National Gallery, had been purchased from his widow at their fair market value. No doubt those pictures had considerably risen in value since the time of their purchase by Sir Charles; but the trustees had no right to call upon his representatives to sell them, except at the price they would fetch in the market.


said, that he had no intention of making an attack upon the representatives of Sir Charles East-lake. Everyone knew how the right hon. Gentleman opposite answered statements made in that House, rushing into matters which were totally irrelevant, The Director of the National Gallery was equally answerable with the head of any other Government Department for the conduct of its business, and must submit to have his acts criticized. His complaint was that seven pictures had been injured in cleaning. With regard to the observations of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Buckinghamshire (Mr. Disraeli), he must explain that what he stated on a former occasion was not that two Departments had competed together for the purchase of certain pictures, but that by arrangement one of them had been prevented from competing. The hon. Member (the Secretary to the Treasury) had not answered his question respecting Sir Charles Eastlake's library.


said, that the library in question was to be kept in connection with the National Gallery. It would not be kept open as a public library in the strict sense of the term, on account of the expense that would thereby be entailed; but any person taking an interest in art would be allowed to refer to the works it contained on making application to the gentleman under whose care it was placed.


said, he would suggest the policy of opening a gallery for the exhibition of collections contributed by private individuals instead of purchasing pictures at the national expense. That course had been adopted in Copenhagen with the best results.

Question put, and agreed to.

(2.) £1,110, to complete the sum for the National Portrait Gallery.

(3.) Motion made, and Question proposed, That a sum, not exceeding £8,300, 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 1870, for Grants in aid of the Expenditure of certain Learned Societies in Great Britain.

MR. AYRTON, in answer to Questions put by hon. Members, stated that the sum of £10,000 was granted to the Royal Society in consideration of their having undertaken to carry out meteorological observations.


said, he hoped that some assistance would be given to the Royal Geographical Society, which rendered valuable assistance to the Government.


said, he must object to the Royal Society receiving £10,000 per annum, while the Meteorological Society of Scotland received nothing in exchange for the information with which they furnished the Government.


said, that the Royal Society only received the £10,000 per annum as trustees, having to expend it for the purposes of the Government. No part of it was applied to their own requirements.


said, he would remind the Committee that the Royal Society now made meteorological observations which had formerly been made by the Department of the Board of Trade, and that the society had undertaken this duty for the convenience of the Government.


asked why a sum of £500 for the Royal Academy of Music had been re-introduced in the Votes?


said, there were increased demands on the scientific societies, and he did not think the contributions made by the State to the funds of those societies were at all too liberal.


said, he thought the Committee ought to have some explanation on the subject of the re-introduction of the Vote of £500 for the Royal Academy of Music, which was discontinued several years ago. He would be the last man to object to any well-spent outlay for the cultivation of music; but he thought there was much reason to doubt whether this Vote to the Royal Academy was a really useful one.


said, that the mercantile interests of the entire kingdom benefited by the observations of the Royal Society. There were accounts to show how all the money voted to that society was spent. The Geographical Society had lost the house accommodation with which the nation had provided them in consequence of the building operations going on in Piccadilly; and the Government could not undertake to supply that society with another hall. The Royal Academy of Music had received a Vote for several years. During the last two years that Vote had been withdrawn, probably owing to the expenses of the Abyssinian War. The question was, whether the Vote should be revived. The Academy wanted a building for its accommodation, and Her Majesty's Government thought that the Vote ought to be renewed, so that the Academy might be kept alive. But since the Government had arrived at that conclusion there had been an expression of opinion by a portion of the musical world against the Vote, and, in consequence of that opinion, the Government would carefully consider the question whether the Vote should be asked for in future.


said, that, though music was the science of harmony, there was no profession among the members of which there was greater discord than that which existed among the professors of music. He was authorized to say that the Vote would be of great use to the Academy, which was the only society which gave musical instruction to poor people at a cheap rate. Many of the members of the Covent Garden orchestra had received their musical education from the Academy.


said, he did not think a good case had been made out for the Vote to the Royal Academy of Music. He accordingly moved that the Vote be reduced by £500.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Item of £500, for the Royal Academy of Music, be omitted from the proposed Vote,"—(Mr. Monk,)


said, that £500 was a very trifling matter to the State, but it would be a serious loss to the Academy of Music. Its existence was of great advantage to young women with a taste for music; and it had enjoyed the favour of former Sovereigns, George IV. especially having invited the Academy to play before him during his illness.


said, he would vote the £500 if it were understood to be a gift. But any hon. Member who had taken the trouble to go through the Estimates for the last thirty years, as he had done, would be astonished to find how every item had grown, so that we had exactly trebled our expenditure in that time.


said, he thought it would be hardly fair to stop the £500 this year, as the Academy must have expected to receive it.


said, he must point out that the Academy had not received the Vote for the last two years. At the same time he had no objection to grant £500, or £5,000, if it were proved first that the Academy required it, and next that it filled that place in the estimation of the musical world which it ought to do. What assurance had they at present that the Academy was worthy of its name?


said, that according to the statement of the Secretary to the Treasury, that Department had undertaken to see to the proper distribution of the Vote. The ordinary course was to vote money for a purpose clearly defined and ascertained beforehand.


said, he remembered perfectly well that two or three years ago, when this subject was last discussed, it was agreed to drop the Academy of Music out of the Votes. He wanted to know what change of circumstances had induced the Treasury to put it in again?


said, the Vote was an exceptional one, merely to assist the Academy to meet the exigencies of the year, arising out of the necessity of a change of residence. It had been distinctly understood that the Vote was not to be continuous, and power had been reserved to the Government of investigating thoroughly the condition of the Academy, with a view of ascertaining how far it fulfilled the wishes and expectations of the musical world.

Question put, and negatived.

Original Question put, and agreed to.

(4.) £6,449, to complete the sum for the University of London.

(5.) £12,337, to complete the sum for the Scottish Universities.

(6.) £2,100, to complete the sum for the Board of Manufactures (Scotland).


said, he thought that the salary of £300 a year paid to the Secretary was excessive, seeing that the same gentleman received £520 yearly as Secretary to the Fishery Board. He thought it was a great abuse and waste of the public money that the son of a Peer should hold both these appointments.


said, no complaint had ever been made of the manner in which the gentleman in question performed his duties.


said, he observed in the detailed account of this Vote an item of £1,000 for the purchase of pictures. He should be glad of an explanation.


said, as to the question of salary, no doubt the item appeared large; but he feared it was not open to the Government to re-consider the amount till the office fell vacant, without paying this gentleman a considerable sum for compensation. As regarded the pictures, the Vote was one enabling them to be purchased, and would be administered by the Board of Manufactures, subject, however, to this restriction, that to meet the amount voted by the State an equal amount must be raised by local contributions. How they might exercise their taste he could not undertake to say.

Vote agreed to.

(7.) £1,240, to complete the sum for the National Gallery (Ireland).

(8.) £1,084, to complete the sum for the Royal Irish Academy.

(9.) £1,710, to complete the sum for the Queen's University (Ireland).

(10.) £2,865, to complete the sum for the Queen's Colleges (Ireland).

(11.) £1,250, to complete the sum for the Belfast Theological Professors, &c.

(12.) £9,298, to complete the sum for the Fishery Board (Scotland).

(13.) £5,391, to complete the sum for the General Register Office (Scotland).

(14.) £4,166, to complete the sum for the Lunacy Board (Scotland).

(15.) £9,838, to complete the sum for the Poor Law Administration (Scotland).

MR. AYRTON, in reply to Mr. MONK, stated that the considerable increase in the amount incurred for salaries in connection with this Department had arisen from the appointment of stipendiary officers, whose duty it was to see that the provisions of the Public Health Act were properly carried out, that Act having been extended to Scotland.

Vote agreed to.

(16.) Motion made, and Question proposed, That a sum, not exceeding £3,664, 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 1870, for Expenses of the Lord Lieutenant's Household.


moved that the Vote be reduced by £1,562 6s. 2d., the amount granted for Queen's Plates.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That the Item of £1,562 6s. 2d., for Queen's Plates in Ireland, be omitted from the proposed Vote."—(Mr. Rylands.)


said, he thought that the Motion ought not to be persisted in, seeing that the opponents of the granting of Queen's Plates to Scotland were beaten on a division by two to one. He had supported the Vote in reference to Scotland, knowing what his Friends below the Gangway had in store for Ireland.


said, he trusted that his hon. Friend would not divide the Committee on this Vote. A large stud was maintained by the Crown in England, and these Plates were originally granted to Scotland and Ireland under the impression that they might in some degree be regarded as an equivalent. The arguments against the Queen's Plates in Ireland were equally strong in the case of Scotland, and as the opponents of the Vote had in that ease been beaten, he trusted that they would not oppose the Vote now.


said, that the hon. Gentleman the Secretary for the Treasury had furnished sufficient argument to induce his hon. Friend the Member for Warrington (Mr. Rylands) to persist in his Motion. The hon. Gentleman had defended this Vote, not on the ground that it was good in itself, but on the ground that these plates being granted in England, it was necessary they should also be given to Ireland. If the Committee had no opportunity of dividing on these grants in the case of England this year, he would take care that they were afforded an opportunity next Session.


said, he would beg to ask the hon. Gentleman opposite to explain what Vote connected with England it was that he referred to?


replied that the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett) had mistaken his argument. What he had said was that the Vote having been granted in the case of Scotland, it would not be fair to refuse it in the case of Ireland. There was a considerable expense incurred in England in connection with horses as part of the Royal state and dignity, and this expenditure was supposed to improve the breed of horses. These Plates were given as an equivalent, not for the purpose, as some hon. Gentlemen appeared to imagine, of encouraging racing, but for the purpose of encouraging the breeding and improvement in the breed of horses. That was the view of the Vote which was taken at its establishment.


said, that the expenditure alluded to by the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Ayrton) as being incurred in this country did not appear in the Estimates, but came out of the Civil List, and did not, therefore, in any way prove the validity of his argument.


said, he thought that any hon. Member who was about to propose the reduction of a Vote ought to give notice of his intention. The hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett) was so fond of dividing in minorities that he should never dream of appealing to him not to divide; but he trusted the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. Alderman Lusk) would not take the sense of the House after the decision which had been given on a former occasion. It was a great advantage to the country that the breeding of horses should be encouraged.


said, that he should vote for the grant of this money because he desired to place Ireland on a footing of equality with the other portions of the United Kingdom.


said, a smaller sum used to be voted for this purpose in England until the late Sir John Shelley persuaded the House to strike it out of the Estimates on the ground that the Royal stud was not only self-supporting, but even a profitable concern. If, then, the English Vote had been disallowed, why should the Irish Vote be agreed to?


said, that he should vote in favour of the reduction, as he had on a previous occasion adopted a similar course with regard to Scotland. One division was surely enough on this subject.


said, that the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Ayrton) need not be alarmed on the score of inequality between the two countries, as the Report of Supply had not yet been brought up.


said, he was of opinion that if the Queen's Plates in England came out of the Civil List the expense of those for Ireland and Scotland ought to be likewise defrayed from the same source.

Question put,

The Committee divided:—Ayes 59; Noes 79: Majority 20.


said, he rose to move to report Progress. He had a complaint to make against Her Majesty's Government. He had placed a Notice on the Paper to the effect that he intended to object to certain items of the Vote respecting the Fishery Board of Scotland, and he had come down to the House expressly to bring forward his Motion. That Vote had been taken. He had given notice of his intention to move to reduce Vote 30, Class II., for the Scotch Fishery Board, by £5,766 13s. 5d. The Notice placed on the Paper by the Secretary of the Treasury (Mr. Ayrton) was that Class IV. would be taken, and after Class IV., Class II. Shortly before midnight, he made an inquiry respecting that Vote of a Friend of his, the hon. Baronet the Member for Fife (Sir Robert Anstruther), who took the same interest in the matter that he (Mr. Craufurd) took, and he was informed by him that the result of an inquiry addressed to the Secretary of the Treasury had been an assurance that Class II. of the Votes would not be taken that night, as the intention was to proceed with Class IV. Now, if it had not been for the fact that he had had a letter to write he should have left the House. His hon. Friend the Member for Fife would also have gone away, but fortunately the Lord Advocate was good enough to go and inform him that the Vote was on. Now, he complained that, instead of going on with Class IV., Class II. was taken, when public notice had been given that objection was to be taken to the Vote for the Scotch Fishery Board in that Class. What was done? The hon. Baronet the Member for Fife and himself had scarcely turned their backs, having been informed that Class II. would not come on, when Class IV. was put aside, and Class II. was brought on behind their backs, and passed without comment. He thought he had a right to complain of such conduct on the part of Her Majesty's Government, and especially on the part of the Secretary of the Treasury, who told his hon. Friend the Member for Fife that he would not take Class II. of the Estimates that night. He begged to move that the Chairman report Progress.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."—(Mr. Craufurd.)


said, he was quite prepared to confirm everything that had fallen from his hon. Friend the Member for Ayr (Mr. Craufurd). They remained there the whole evening in order that they might be present when the Scotch Votes came on. He went to the Secretary of the Treasury about forty or forty-five minutes ago, and asked him whether the Scotch Votes were to be taken that night, as he was anxious to know; and he told him distinctly that the Scotch Votes would not be taken.


said, he had also been anxious to make some observations on the Vote for the Scotch Fishery Board, not with a view to oppose it, but to show to the Chancellor of the Exchequer— who would not lend £10,000 to keep the Irish fisheries alive until they could get a portion of the surplus funds of the Irish Church—what a gross injustice was done to Ireland by giving Scotland £7,000 more than Ireland.


said, he was exceedingly sorry that the smallest misunderstanding should have arisen about the progress of the Committee of Supply. He was constantly asked by hon. Members as to what would be the probable course of business, and he gave them the best estimate he could of the time that was likely to be taken up by particular matters. If any hon. Gentleman construed such an estimate into an engagement that certain business should not be proceeded with, all he could say was that he was very sorry for it, because he only gave the best opinion he could as to how far the Committee were likely to go. He thought it was generally understood that they would not that night take the Irish Education Vote—the only Vote passed over in Class IV. When he asked the Committee whether it would not object to go on with Class II., he was not in the least under the impression that any hon. Gentleman interested had left the House. If, however, any hon. Member had lost an opportunity of questioning any Vote, he would promise him that the Report should be brought up at a time when it could be freely and fully discussed. If the Committee did not now wish to proceed any further, Progress could be reported. ["Go on."] But it was desirable, if such was the pleasure of the Committee, to finish Class II. that night.


said, he would beg to inquire what Classes of Supply would be taken at the Morning Sitting to-morrow, and what Classes in the evening?


said, he proposed at the Morning Sitting to take the Irish Education Votes in Class IV., and then proceed in the ordinary course with Class III. If they got into Supply at the Evening Sitting he wished to resume exactly at the point where they might have left off at the end of the Morning Sitting.


said, he must be allowed to say that he was not satisfied with the explanation which the Secretary of the Treasury had just given, and he should accept no assurance from the hon. Member. He must have the assurance of a Minister of the Crown. ["Oh, oh!"] Otherwise, he should refuse to withdraw the Motion for reporting Progress. He could not help thinking that he had been "jockeyed" out of his opportunity. ["Oh!" and "Order!"]


said, he rose to Order. He must ask the hon. Member to withdraw that expression.


said, if the expression he had used was un-Parliamentary he would withdraw it; but, he must say, that he thought he had been treated unfairly in the matter. No opportunity which might be afforded him on the Report would put him in the position which he would have occupied in Committee of Supply.


explained that no promise had been given by his hon. Friend the Secretary of the Treasury to postpone the Scotch Votes. His hon. Friend had explained that they had arrived at a point when it "was inconvenient to proceed with the important Vote for National Education in Ireland, and the Committee consented to proceed with Class II. of the Estimates. He thought it unnecessary to renew the assurance which had already been given by his hon. Friend the Secretary of the Treasury, that the hon. Member for Ayr (Mr. Craufurd) would have on the Report a convenient opportunity of stating his views with respect to the Scotch Fisheries Vote.


said, he must be allowed to say one word in explanation. He thought that when the hon. Member for the Ayr Burghs spoke with such extreme certainty as to what took place, he should remember the fact that he was speaking not of anything within his own knowledge, because he did not suggest that he had any connection with him (Mr. Ayrton); and when observations made by him passed through other channels, it was quite possible that, without the smallest desire on the part of any person to mislead, there might have arisen a misapprehension as to what took place.


said, as he was the channel referred to by the hon. and learned Gentleman, through which his hon. and learned Friend the Member for the Ayr Burghs might have been mistaken, he was bound to say that there was not the slightest misapprehension on his part as to what took place. It was quite possible that the hon. and learned. Gentleman did not mean him (Sir Robert Anstruther) to understand that the Scotch Votes would not be proceeded with to-night; but all he could say was, that upon the faith of what he stated, he informed his hon. Friend that the Vote which he, in common with himself, had been waiting for for a great many hours would not come on.


said, he wished distinctly to understand what they were going to do to-morrow. It was generally understood that the first business would be the Irish Church Bill, and after that the Metropolitan Poor Law Amendment Bill. He desired to know whether that was to be the Order of Business.


said, it was certainly intended to take the Irish Church Bill as the first Order at two o'clock if the printer should have finished his work, but if not the first Order would be Committee of Supply.


said, if at one o'clock in the morning the Government did not feel certain that the printer would be ready, they ought to say that the Irish Church Bill would not be taken first.


said, it was the intention of the Government to proceed with the Irish Church Bill first, and it was their hope that it would be ready.


said, he wished to know when the Metropolitan Poor Law Amendment Bill would come on?


said, it was impossible for him to give any pledge on the subject.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.


said, he wished to know what was the meaning of "two gentleman at large," whose salaries formed an item in the Vote?


replied that these were gentleman attached, at a small salary to the Viceregal Court, and adorning it. There was nothing at all novel about the matter.

Original Question put, and agreed to.

(17.) £15,453, to complete the sum for the Chief Secretary's Offices.

(18.) £100, to complete the sum for the Boundary Survey (Ireland).

(19.) £1,238, to complete the sum for the Charitable Donations and Bequests Office (Ireland).

(20.) £13,722, to complete the sum for the General Register Office, &c. (Ireland).

(21.) £65,328, to complete the sum for the Poor Law Commission (Ireland).

(22.) £3,182, to complete the sum for the Public Record Office (Ireland).

Resolutions to be reported.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That a sum, not exceeding £18,196, 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 1870, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Office of Public Works in Ireland.


said, he must ask that the Vote might be postponed, as he was prepared, if there was time, to show, that there was the most wasteful and wanton extravagance in connection with the Board of Works, and that there was general dissatisfaction as to the manner in which the business was carried on.


said, he could assure his hon. Friend that if he were to communicate with him he should have every assistance in promoting the economy and efficiency which he desired in the Board of Works, and that would be better than postponing the Vote.


said, he hoped the hon. Gentleman would move to report Progress, as there were several items in the Vote which required explanation.


moved to report Progress.

Motion agreed to.

House resumed.

Resolutions to be reported To-morrow.

Committee also report Progress; to sit again To-morrow, at Two of the clock.