HC Deb 25 March 1870 vol 200 c640

said, he wished to ask the First Commissioner of Works, Whether the Government has ordered, more mosaic pictures for the Central Hall; whether they are in that advanced state of completion that one or more may or will be put into position during the Easter Recess; and, whether, if so placed, care will be taken to throw sufficient light upon them to enable Members of Parliament and the Public to appreciate their design and execution? He wished to observe that the mosaic by Salviati was in such a position of obscurity as to be quite worthless; indeed, a policeman had expressed an opinion to him that the animal in the picture looked like a pig.


in reply, said, the minds of hon. Members had been much exercised on the subject of decorations in the Houses of Parliament; there were many who thought them extremely beautiful, and others who thought them the exact opposite, according to their taste. The Government, therefore, thought the work should not be pressed forward and further expenditure incurred until they were in a position to come to a satisfactory conclusion on the matter, or until the House had had an opportunity of expressing its views on the works in progress. Mr. Poynter, who had made the design at present fixed, had been directed to prepare four other corresponding designs, and was at work upon them. The design was one thing, and the mode of displaying the designs another. The question of light in the Central Hall involved points of considerable importance—among them the maintenance or removal of windows which were in themselves works of art, and altogether the question was one which should not be dealt with hastily.