§ MR. BERESFORD HOPE
, in rising to call attention to the scheme for the enlargement and improvement of the National Gallery as provided for by Act of Parliament in the year 1866, and to the present condition of the works which have, in consequence, been undertaken, said: There was a time when questions like the one which I am to-night about to bring under the notice of the House were very popular here, and produced animated conversations, and I trust that the present Parliament will take an interest in them not inferior to that of its predecessors. The National Gallery especially has been discussed time out of mind, although, I am sorry to say, it has too often been fought over in the interests of some Party triumph. I can assure the House that it will be in no such spirit that I shall to-night enter on the first artistic debate of the existing Parliament. On the contrary, I shall 610 treat the question of the National Gallery as one which has already become matter of history. England, unlike any other country, I believe, in civilized Europe, possessed no National Gallery, properly speaking, till about 50 years ago, when the Angerstein Collection was purchased. Shortly after, the building which is now the National Gallery was erected in Trafalgar Square, and at that time it seemed to be so much in excess of the needs of the case that its eastern wing was handed over for the use of the Royal Academy, which continued to occupy it till a few years ago. In time, the National Gallery outgrew its small lodgings in the western part of that building, and it then became a pressing question whether the actual edifice should be enlarged, or a new one constructed. In 1864, during the Government of the late Lord Palmerston, and when my right hon. Friend the Member for South Hampshire (Mr. Cowper-Temple) filled the office of First Commissioner of Works, a plan was prepared for the construction of a new National Gallery on the area of Burlington House and Gardens, now occupied partly by the Royal Academy and partly by the University of London, and it was generally understood that if that plan had been carried out the whole of the building in Trafalgar Square would have been surrendered to the Royal Academy. The frustration of that arrangement will, I now believe, be ultimately advantageous to the cause of Art, always supposing that the actual project is realized without mutilation; but, at the period, I much regretted it, for it would certainly have saved a great loss of time and considerable expense. I do not ask why it did not approve itself to the Parliament of that day. The House of Commons rejected it, and the Government was obliged to withdraw the proposal, and it was generally understood that the National Gallery should stop in Trafalgar Square. This brings me to the present state of the question. In 1866, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Hampshire, being still First Commissioner of Works, brought in a Bill for the purchase of the land which was considered necessary for the "enlargement and improvement of the National Gallery;" and on the 6th of August, 1866, a change of Government having taken place, and the Conservatives being 611 in office, that Bill received the Royal Assent. I wish particularly to call attention to the words "enlargement and improvement of the National Gallery" as defining the object of that measure; for they are the very Magna Charta of my present claim. Parliament then deliberately declared that the National Gallery required to be enlarged and improved, by passing an Act for the purpose. Parliament also found the money for the acquisition of the land indicated in that Act, which has become the property of the nation, at an outlay of about £140,000. My plea, then, is that the country should have its money's worth, and that upon this £140,000 of purchased land shall be constructed a National Gallery alike worthy of the object, worthy of the Empire, and worthy of this great capital. Simultaneously with settling the site, steps had been taken to invite plans and prepare a scheme of limited competition, on the part of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Hampshire, who invited selected architects to contend. In the meantime, my right hon. Friend had quitted office, and was succeeded by my noble Friend the present Postmaster General (Lord John Manners). The terms of competition had been arranged by the noble Lord's Predecessor; but the choice of judges was his own work. They were Lord Hardinge; my noble Friend the Member for Haddingtonshire (Lord Elcho); Sir William Boxall, at the time Director of the National Gallery, and himself an eminent artist; that distinguished architect, the late Sir William Tite; Mr. Redgrave, the Royal Academician; Mr. William Russell, a trustee of the National Gallery; Mr. Gambier Parry, one of our first amateur artists; Mr. David Brandon, an architect of great repute; and myself. We met, and came to a decision which, at the time, created some discontent, though it was an unreasonable discontent, for it was expected that the judges would have recommended that some particular design should be carried out. It is true that we did not absolutely recommend that any particular design should be carried out; but we did what was practically as good, and, indeed, as I should personally contend, much better: for we indicated the man whom we thought most competent to do the work, thus practically se- 612 curing the reward for the worthiest, whilst we untied the hands who were interested in the result, to modify the plan according to circumstances, and we did not fetter employers and employed to crude first thoughts. The competition was a double one, for it invited each competitor to furnish two plans—one for an alteration of the present National Gallery, and the other for the construction of a new National Gallery. For altering the present National Gallery, Mr. Murray, a most meritorious architect, was recommended as having produced a plan which displayed the greatest architectural merit in carrying out that particular object. But for the construction of a new National Gallery—that which the judges themselves, and the public whom they served, felt to be the only right, complete, and satisfactory thing to do—the name of Mr. Barry was mentioned as the architect whose design carried with it "the greatest amount of architectural merit." At the same time, we recommended neither Mr. Murray's nor Mr. Barry's design as it stood for execution. It was very clear that in making that award we indicated our opinion that the Government would act most wisely and consistently in giving Mr. Barry the employment, while we did not wish to fetter either the Government or Mr. Barry by pressing the execution of a plan which, full as it was of merit, seemed capable of improvement. The judges accompanied their award with certain recommendations as to matters of convenience, beauty, comfort, and other points which occurred to them as being necessary to be taken into consideration by those who were to be in charge of the construction of the new National Gallery. The Report of the judges was dated the 28th of February, 1866, and was transmitted to my noble Friend the present Postmaster General. On the 5th of August, in the same year, the Trustees of the National Gallery, having been invited to give their opinion on the subject, drew up a most valuable Report, containing recommendations emanating from their own private experience, bearing upon the building of a new National Gallery. On the 16th of June, 1868, the noble Lord had before him the judges' recommendation of Mr. Barry as the man who had produced the best design, as well as the various Papers and suggestions 613 which related either to the general question or to Mr. Barry's plan, which plan, though not satisfactory as a final design, was a most valuable first sketch. Having all these documents before him on that day, my noble Friend appointed Mr. Barry architect of the new National Gallery. The decision gave great comfort to all who had the artistic credit of the country at heart; for, at last, it was hoped and believed that in a few years the new National Gallery would be something that would have a substantial and material existence. On the 24th of October following, Mr. Barry was invited by the Department of Works to prepare his plans, with elevations and sections. Meanwhile, consequent upon a change of Government, my noble Friend had to leave the office which he had so ably and conspicuously filled, and was succeeded, for a short time, by Mr. Layard—an administrator whose erudite zeal for everything connected with Art deserved more credit than, I am sorry to say, he has received. Mr. Layard, as First Commissioner, threw himself into his work right heartily; but a small political revolution taking place inside the Administration, he was, in his turn, succeeded by another First Commissioner of Works—a man of conspicuous practical capacities, but whose enthusiasm for Art never hurried him into aesthetic excesses: I mean, of course, Mr. Ayrton. On the 6th of November, 1869, Mr. Barry sent in his designs. He had been appointed by the noble Lord now Postmaster General, architect of the National Gallery; Mr. Layard had regarded him as such; and the next communication which he expected was, that he should be ordered to carry out the plan for the National Gallery; but, instead of that, he was requested to send in his bill. Mr. Barry could not understand that. To be called upon to send in his bill, looked as if his engagement were to be terminated. That, however, is an episode in the history to which I will not further refer, for whatever may have been meant by this eccentric procedure it practically led to nothing. The matter was then hung up for a time; but on the 29th of September, 1870, Mr. Ayrton, the First Commissioner of Works, did authorize Mr. Barry to prepare the working designs for a certain fragment of the National Gallery—the portion of it which is now 614 so near completion. Whether, by giving that limited order, the Department of Works intended to cancel Mr. Barry's larger commission as architect of the whole building, is a matter upon which I do not enter; though I believe that I may take upon myself to say that no document can be produced which cancels it, and the work which he was then ordered to do is, in fact, quite consistent with the larger engagement of which it forms a portion, and which was always intended to be carried out as the first part of the undertaking. Mr. Barry did carry out his order accordingly, and sent in his plans, which were accepted and set in hand. The work is now nearly completed, and the Gallery almost ready to receive pictures.
Thus the matter now stands. I have mentioned the name of the architect several times; but I wish the House clearly to understand that I am not speaking as counsel for Mr. Barry, or for any other man. I am simply standing up as the advocate of the National Gallery, and for the completion, in a satisfactory manner, of a great and important undertaking. I must incidentally observe that the man who has done that first part of the work, and done it with great ability and devotion to the public service, would be naturally the man to whom we should look to complete it. Still it is not of the man, of his fame, or of his profits, but of the Gallery itself that I am now speaking. The upshot of the recommendations made by the Trustees of the National Gallery, in their Report of the 5th of August, 1867, was that 4,200 linear feet of wall were wanted for a satisfactory National Gallery. In all these recommendations linear measurement only was taken as the basis of calculation, and the question of height hardly entertained. It would be simply to murder pictures to hang them too high or too low, and the height of the room had afterwards to be settled on practical and architectural considerations. A room should be high enough for the sake of appearance and ventilation, as well as for the comfort of the visitors; but for the proper distribution of the site the linear measurement was the main consideration. In 1867 the Trustees of the National Gallery requisitionized for the Old Masters, to begin with, 2,400 linear 615 feet; 3,000 feet being, in their opinion, the maximum area that they would ever want for that branch of the collection. The Raphael Cartoons, which were at South Kensington, but which I am sure the House will agree with me ought to be in the heart of London, and in the National Gallery, required 200 linear feet; a contemplated Loan Collection 300 feet; modern pictures 900 feet; a special gallery for the Turner bequest 400 feet: the sum total being 4,200 feet, besides an unknown quantity for modern foreign pictures. There was also an independent claim set up for a wing of the gallery to be set apart for the National Portrait Gallery; but, as I believe and hope, that collection will be adequately lodged in some of the numerous galleries of the defunct International Exhibition at South Kensington, I venture to drop that item out of the calculation. Well, as I said, the Trustees proposed 4,200 linear feet, and Mr. Barry's complete plan would have given 4,315—not much more than the Trustees themselves had named. It is but just a little over; and therefore, if he has erred at all, he has done so on the right side. The fragment of the National Gallery now being completed gives a length of 1,078 linear feet, and the old building sections for 2,072 feet; together 3,150 feet, or within 1,000 feet of the entire space wanted. This is the case for doing nothing; but against it we must remember that only 1,000 feet of that space is included in the new gallery, and is therefore possessed of the height, width, dimensions, ventilation, and top-lighting necessary in order that the English National Gallery should compete with the national galleries even of second-class European States—that, for example, of so small a power as Saxony, the capital of which has so long been famous all over the world as an Art centre. I have had the pleasure of visiting the new Galleries, and I cannot express how much I admire the spacious, dignified, and airy appearance of the rooms, with a width varying from 30 to 40 feet, with sufficient height but not too much, and with an area of skylight about half the whole superficies of the floors, conforming in their aspects to the recommendations of the judges and of the Trustees. Then, when I left them and entered the old Galleries—no doubt well-intended apartments, but as unlike 616 the new ones as the first steamer that started from London was like the Ulster and Munster boats now plying between Holyhead and Kingstown—their dark, gloomy, and cavernous aspect was a most striking contrast.
The state of the case, to go a little more into detail, is, that the area which has been purchased at an outlay of £140,000 is divided, roughly speaking, into four sections. One of these is the existing National Gallery; the second the space already built over; and the third the portion of the acquired ground lying behind the new building to the northward. These two last pieces together represent the £140,000, and include among other things, in the part which has still to be built over, the old workhouse of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, in that narrow lane, which we all know so well when we are running to catch a train at Charing Cross Station, called Hemming's Row. The fourth section, to the north-west, is St. George's Barracks. No doubt it would be a serious thing to remove barracks or other large public buildings; but I believe that I am justified in stating that high military authorities are not so enamoured with the site of those barracks as much to object to their removal to another site rather nearer the river, so that the appropriation of the present ground filled up by the barracks for the National Gallery would be no disservice to our military establishments. But whether or not the the barracks are desirable for the National Gallery, they are not absolutely essential to the scheme of rebuilding. The remaining portion is, as I have said, an area which might be plainly and roughly divided into four parts; the part which had been built over, and then the part which is still to be built over—these are known as sections one and two—then comes as the third section, the present National Gallery; and the fourth is these barracks. One of the lots, we see, is already built over; the next is ready to be built over, and the present National Gallery must go, unless the whole thing is to remain an abortion. Now what shall we get by carrying out the scheme? We shall have possession of a National Gallery worthy of the country; a building well isolated and fireproof, and therefore suited to the safe custody of the Art treasures which will be contained in it, 617 If we take, moreover, the area of the barracks, we shall be able to carry out a great metropolitan improvement, by making a wide street running from south to north at the west end of the National Gallery, commencing opposite the College of Physicians, and reaching up to Leicester Square, where it would meet the new street which the Metropolitan Board of "Works are going to carry out there, running to Oxford Street. So the reconstruction of the National Gallery would connect itself with, and lead to a much wanted metropolitan improvement—a main north and south artery running a little to the eastward of Regent Street. This would indeed be a vast gain to the convenience and the appearance of London, and I feel confident that the House will agree with me in the desirability, if possible, of effecting it. I have nothing to say as to the National Portrait Gallery, for the reason which I have already given. I have also, I trust, offered sufficient arguments for the necessity of rebuilding the existing Gallery instead of leaving the poor and inferior range of rooms and the depressed façde which Wilkins was compelled to construct, standing as an eyesore to Trafalgar Square, and a foil to the noble galleries behind.
These, then, are the general facts upon which I base my case. I have described what is required. I have mentioned the length of time during which the undertaking has been hung up. I have reminded the House of the plans for a new National Gallery to be erected on another site, which were prepared by eminent architects in 1864; of the Act of Parliament which secured the present site in 1866; of the limited competition which settled who should be the architect in 1867; of the architect's own plans, now five or six years old; and I ask what have we gained by this procrastination and this economy? What is the advantage of it to London or to the Empire? I have pointed to Hemming's Bow, and I hope that any hon. Member who feels an interest in the question will go to Hemming's Row, and look at those miserable ruins which were once St. Martin's Workhouse, and which, if the great scheme were carried out, would be pulled down, when the line of buildings would be thrown back, and a fine broad street constructed where there is now a narrow and squalid lane. 618 On the more general question of the congruity of such a Gallery, I find it difficult to speak, for the matter is so plain and obvious that it is a truism much more than a truth, and if I were to dwell upon it, I fear that I should find myself drifting into a lecture more adapted to a Mechanics' Institution than to the debates of this House. The thing is obvious; but is it not something to be ashamed of, if the results of such a truism were to be neglected Session after Session and Recess after Recess? I am not blaming any Party in the House, and above all, the present Government, who have been in office only for a year, and has had many other things to think of. To its Members, when in office before, and practically making up the same Government, were owing some of the most substantial steps that have been taken for the commencement of this good work, and I look now to them to carry it through. I put it as a question concerning the national honour, as a claim of necessity, and as an essential element of educational development, and at the same time a thing that will be eminently popular. Has not every addition to the contents of the National Gallery been warmly greeted by the intelligent public? When the right hon. Member for Tamworth surrendered to the nation on such generous terms the magnificent collection of Dutch and Flemish pictures which had been collected by his great father, Sir Robert Peel; when the hon. Baronet the Member for Lisburn (Sir Richard Wallace) presented the masterpiece of Terburg; when two or three years ago the grand unfinished Michael Angelo was acquired; and when these 14 pictures, including the painting by Pietro della Francesca, were bought at Mr. Barker's sale; how great was the enthusiasm awakened by these several acquisitions to our national collection! If in addition to all this the Government will promise to give the country a national building worthy of the name, they will not only do a wise, a far-sighted, and a generous thing, but, I repeat, they will be taking a most popular step, and win for themselves the gratitude of all those sections of the public, whose good will is worth obtaining. Of course, it is a matter of money, and I know that the grim guardians of the national till are sitting at this moment 619 on the Treasury bench. Still there are some things for which money must at times be found, and the National Gallery is one of these. I am not to be met with the excuse, then, that the National Gallery cannot be built, because there are other important structures to be raised. I know that there are Law Courts rising at the eastern end of the Strand, and that a Natural History Museum is being reared at South Kensington. But I contend that a nation like ours, with resources and a history such as ours, and with a Capital of four millions of inhabitants, ought to be able to build a Palace of Justice, a Natural History Museum and Picture Galleries at one and the same time, if England would be true to its traditional greatness. This, then, is my claim. I have abstained from putting down any Notice of Motion, because I might have been met by arguments derived from immediate and temporary expediency, which would have told against me on the division list, and left it no sure test of the real feeling of the House. I prefer to carry with me the sympathies of the House, which I am satisfied that I have won, rather than encounter the unfair and incomplete ordeal of a division taken on a false issue. I hope and believe, however, that the Government will do the best they can in the matter, and I earnestly invite them to carry out with all convenient expedition this most excellent and popular work.
LORD HENRY LENNOX
said, he most heartily thanked his hon. Friend for the public spirit which was manifested in the remarks he had addressed to the House. He had been right in adopting that course; because, in order to obtain the sympathy of both sides on matters of this kind, it was desirable not to introduce any question of a Party character, but to argue the subject on its intrinsic merits. His hon. Friend had also very properly disclaimed appearing that evening as champion for the eminent architect Mr. Barry. He (Lord Henry Lennox) sympathized very much with Mr. Barry on account of that which he called the disappointment of his life; but he could not regard him as having been ill-treated, for no one who held the office he had the honour of holding, and, least of all, his noble Friend the Postmaster General, could for a moment have intended so to deal with so distinguished a man. Only the 620 other day he told Mr. Barry that he looked upon it as a fact that every great architect and most artists met, each of them, with a grievance in the course of his career. That appeared to be incidental to such a career, and it was equally true of public men. How few public men were there who came into that House and won their way to office who had not grievances and disappointments, and did not think that they ought to occupy higher positions than those in which they were placed? Mr. Barry had a grievance. He had not been ill-treated, but had met with a disappointment from ill luck. He was one of the architects who had competed for the greatest work undertaken in this country since the present Houses of Parliament were built. The Commissioners to whom reference had been made reported very much in favour of Mr. Barry, and they also recommended another distinguished architect, Mr. Street. Now, if ever there was a building in the plan of which the question of internal accommodation should have been considered pre-eminent, it was that building which was to be adapted for carrying out the vast machinery of the law. That being so, the Commissioners were of opinion that the façade of the great building in question should be entrusted to Mr. Street, and the internal arrangements to Mr. Barry. For his part, he quite concurred with his noble Friend the Postmaster General that such an arrangement would not be likely to work satisfactorily, and in the result the Law Courts were placed in the hands of Mr. Street, and to Mr. Barry was entrusted the re-construction of the National Gallery. The Commission presided over by Lord Hardinge strongly recommended the proposed plan of Mr. Barry for carrying out that object; but, at the same time, did not think it advisable that the re-construction should be proceeded with at once. It was, however, found that the Collection of Pictures was overcrowded; an addition to the Gallery was required, and Mr. Barry was called upon to make it, the question as to elevation being allowed to remain over for the present. Mr. Barry undertook the duty confided to him, and he (Lord Henry Lennox) cordially reciprocated everything his hon. Friend had said as to the magnificent success which had attended his work. He hoped that 621 the new Galleries would soon be open to I the public, for when they were he was certain there would be but one opinion as to their merits, or as to the immense stride we had made in adding to our National Gallery, regarding which he thought his hon. Friend had spoken in somewhat disparaging terms. His hon. Friend pointed to several great works which he thought ought to be at once proceeded with; but he (Lord Henry Lennox) must remind the House that the interests of Art had not of late been neglected, and that it was not Art alone that was pulling at the national purse strings. The National Gallery had boon extended; the Law Courts were being proceeded with; a Natural History Museum, which would cost £500,000, had been sanctioned; a considerable sum, approaching to nearly £200,000, had been expended on the South Kensington Museum; and Museums had been established in Edinburgh and Bethnal Green. It would not, therefore, be just to say that successive Governments had not shown a desire to promote the interests of Art. The present National Gallery was most admirably situated, and when things were at their worst they began to mend. His hon. Friend, therefore, he thought, would agree with him (Lord Henry Lennox) that it was well the façade of the National Gallery had not been patched up and made something less abominable than it was, for nothing could be much worse. He trusted an improvement in due time would be manifested. His hon. Friend had alluded to the purchase of pictures made last year; but that, he thought, was as nothing compared with the eloquent speech in which the Prime Minister proposed that Vote for the acceptance of the House. No one could have heard the speech of his right hon. Friend on that occasion without feeling that the cause and interests of Art would not only not be neglected, but would, on the contrary, be supported and encouraged.
§ MR. COWPER-TEMPLE
said, that although disappointment had been occasioned to a distinguished artist in the manner referred to by his noble Friend, yet, on the whole, the best course had, he thought, been adopted. His noble Friend had intimated that the Commissioners recommended that two architects should be employed—one in respect 622 of the exterior, the other the interior of the new Law Courts. That, he believed, was not the intention of the judges, although such an impression might be conveyed by the language they used. They contemplated that in a work of such magnitude, the architect might avail himself of the aid of a partner of eminence in carrying it out. He did not doubt, however, that his noble Friend the Postmaster General had good grounds for confiding all the work and its responsibility to one architect. With respect to the National Gallery, he hoped his noble Friend the Chief Commissioner of Works would not imitate the long delay which had occurred, and he had no doubt in that case, the time would soon come when the original design as to the National Gallery would be carried out, when the façade facing Trafalgar Square would be removed, and when a Gallery would be founded worthy of the nation, and of the great treasures which it possessed. A large portion of these pictures were gifts, and the least thing the nation could do was to provide a proper receptacle. He hoped that they would soon see the Cartoons of Raphael placed in the Central Hall—which was part of the design of Mr. Barry—where they might be seen to much greater advantage than either at Hampton Court or at South Kensington.
§ MR. KINNAIRD
said, he cordially thanked the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Beresford Hope) for bringing the subject forward; because in all metropolitan improvements, they were behind other countries. He thought they could not have a better time than the present for carrying out the scheme shadowed forth, as every year's delay would enhance the difficulty of procuring a site. He believed that in even the past year, house property had risen in value nearly double. ["No, no!"] In Carlton House Terrace, a house which a few years ago was bought for £12,000, had been lately sold for £40,000. Was not that a great increase? He ventured to declare his conviction that they might have carried out the improvement and widened Parliament Street a few years ago at about one-half the cost which they would now have to incur.
said, he must deny that the value of house property had increased during the last 12 months to the extent stated by the hon. Member. From 623 personal experience he could say, although it probably was only temporary, that, contrary to the statement of the hon. Member, there was rather a tendency to a decline in the value of house property, even in the most fashionable parts of London, during that period; and it was too absurd to compare property in Carlton House Terrace with miserable property at the back of St. Martin's Church. The decline, in his opinion, resulted from the general depression of trade throughout the country. Of course, he was aware that over a period of 10 years there was a considerable increase in the value of fashionable houses; but of them really it was not now the question. But with regard to the question more immediately under discussion, he (Mr. Goldsmid) would say that he could quite understand the feeling of Mr. Barry, who naturally wished to be the architect of a grand National Gallery; but he thought the course the Government had adopted was a wise course—adding galleries as they were wanted, and not anticipating wants by spending between £300,000 and £350,000 more than was at present required for the accommodation of the national pictures. When the time arrived that more accommodation for the display of the pictures in the National Gallery was called for, then would be the proper occasion to incur increased expenditure and carry the remainder of Mr. Barry's plan into execution. He would urge the noble Lord to use a little more expedition in carrying out the Government works not only connected with the National Gallery, but in other parts of the metropolis. Anyone who saw the slow pace at which the Law Courts were being built would feel the justice of this remark.
§ MR. LOCKE
thought the building called the National Gallery was one of the worst used of any public buildings. Before the alterations were made, there was a handsome entrance, and staircases on each side, one for the galleries of ancient pictures and the other for the Royal Academy; but for some reason that entrance had been almost blocked up. Had it not been for the interference of Mr. Hume, who succeeded in reducing the height of the building, and thus saved money, there would have been no reason to complain of the structure. The building would have 624 been 12 or 14 feet higher had not Mr. Hume interfered. No doubt, there would be a necessity for an extension of the buildings; but he thought there were plenty of localities in the metropolis where house property was not of any great value. The more they went to the Northern and North-eastern parts of the metropolis, the cheaper they found the houses. The British Museum stood there; and if the land were cheap they might go in that direction, when they wished to erect public buildings. He thought the Government were acting wisely in not making any alteration at present. He was not aware that the National Gallery as it now stood was entirely filled with pictures, and he thought that when it was filled, there would be time enough to consider the question of further accommodation. With regard to the City of London, great and important alterations had in late years been carried out there, and the new, wide, and fine streets recently constructed within the City must be regarded as great improvements. The Corporation of London many years ago had maps drawn showing the improvements required by widening streets, which they had done by degrees when houses were destroyed by fire or become dilapidated. Newgate Street was an example. The Metropolitan Board of Works had not adopted this course some years ago, when he (Mr. Locke), in a Select Committee brought the plan of the City to their consideration. The Metropolitan Board should give their attention to what was required in the first instance throughout the metropolis in improvements, and have a map to show how these could be carried out from time to time.