HC Deb 26 February 1872 vol 209 cc1029-30

asked the Chairman of the Metropolitan Board of Works, What is the number and the total estimated cost of the seats to be erected in various places for the accommodation of the Members of the Metropolitan Board, and of the vestrymen of the Metropolis, on the occasion of the National Thanksgiving in the Metropolitan Cathedral; out of what rate the cost of these seats is to be defrayed, and under what heading in the financial balance-sheet of the Metropolitan Board of Works which is annually presented to Parliament will this expenditure appear; and, whether under the heading of "General Precepts," which amounted last year to £99,394 19s. 6d., or under that of "Dangerous Structures Act," which amounted to £32 7s. He wished also to put to his hon. and gallant Friend two further Questions, of which he had given him private notice—Whether he is aware that an advertisement has appeared offering one of those seats for three guineas; and whether he was correctly reported in Saturday's papers as having stated, at a meeting of the Metropolitan Board of Works, that the Lord Chamberlain had given a ticket for the interior of St. Paul's Cathedral to each Member of the Board and any lady accompanying him?


begged leave to put a supplementary Question—namely, Whether the cost of refreshments was to be included in the rate?


said, he would do his best to answer this avalanche of Questions. He had first to inform the noble Lord that the number of seats provided by the Metropolitan Board of Works for vestrymen was about 7,500, and that the total cost, as far as it could be estimated, would be about £3,400. The expense would be defrayed out of the Metropolitan Consolidated Rate, and would be placed under whatever head the Board should determine at the end of the financial year. With regard to the noble Lord's pleasantry as to the "Dangerous Structures Act," the noble Lord, as a man of taste, if he would be good enough to go and look at the erections, would probably see that they were fairly entitled to a better category than that. The advertisement referred to had been brought under his notice. He thought it a most improper one, and had he any means of detecting or punishing its author he should be glad to do so. He had been quite correctly reported as having stated that the Lord Chamberlain had been kind enough to offer accommodation in St. Paul's Cathedral to the members of the Board, the number of such tickets being 104. As to the Question of the hon. Gentleman opposite, he believed that at one spot there was to be a booth for refreshments, and that any persons who liked to refresh themselves could do so, at their own expense.