HC Deb 14 June 1869 vol 196 cc1742-3

said, he wished to ask the First Commissioner of Works, What has become of the Statue of Sir Robert Peel, lately removed from Palace Yard; whether it is to be re-erected; if so, where; and, whether there are other Statues or Works of Art warehoused in Government Stores; if so, what are his intentions respecting them?


said, he also wished to ask the First Commissioner of Works, Whether there is any truth in the report that the statue of the late Sir Robert Peel, which was condemned as an eyesore and discredit to his memory by the late Parliament, is about to be erected within a few feet of the spot whereon it stood before it was removed by the Vote of the House of Commons?


said, in reply, that the statue of the late Sir Robert Peel was now in a Government store. As regarded the re-erection of the statue, he was waiting for a communication from the Committee, under whose auspices it was made, upon the subject. There were two other statues also warehoused in Government stores—namely, those of Brunel and Stephenson. He found that it was proposed to place these statues side by side with that of Canning; but it appeared to him that the particular spot where the latter statue stood was peculiarly adapted for the statues of statesmen, and that it would be an incongruity to place the statues of Brunei and Stephenson there. Besides, the Canning statue was eleven feet high, while that of Brunel was eight and Stephenson nine feet high. He had the statues put into the warehouse very carefully, and it was proposed to place them on the Thames Embankment, which would be an appropriate site for them. With regard to the question of the noble Lord (Lord Elcho) there was no truth in the rumour that the statue of Sir Robert Peel was about to be placed near the entrance to Palace Yard. It had been arranged that Lord Palmerston and Sir Robert Peel should stand back to back, one outside and the other inside the railings—but the latter was removed, and then it was determined that Lord Palmerston's statue should be erected on the outside of the railings. He thought it however, advisable that the sculptor—Mr. Woolmer—should place the statue and pedestal in model in their places, so that the House might judge as to the position.