HC Deb 09 August 1878 vol 242 cc1687-92

SUPPLY [6th August],—Postponed Resolution [reported. 7th August], considered.

Resolution again read, as followeth:— That a sum, not exceeding £88,245, 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 1879, for the Royal Parks and Pleasure Gardens.


moved to reduce the sum by £500, being the cost of the proposed new storehouses in Hyde Park. Last year an amount was taken for the erection of a new superintendent's lodge in that part of Hyde Park; but it was paid back by Baron Grant. However, a very ugly building was erected, a portion of the Park taken off, and a hedge planted, by which the public were still further excluded. The present proposal would add to the "built-over" character of that part of the Park; they were making a small town of it, and entirely destroying its suburban beauty.


seconded the Amendment, because he deemed that the course pursued tended to deprive the people of their rights by gradually filching from the people's recreation grounds portions of these parks so much needed in the neighbourhood of London. He regretted that the Government were pursuing that course which must excite passionate feelings in the minds of the people that might prove troublesome.

Amendment proposed, to leave out "£88,245," in order to insert "£87,745," —(Sir Charles W. Dilke,)—instead thereof.

Question proposed, "That '£88,245' stand part of the Resolution."


said, that the new brick storehouse stood in exactly the same place as the old one, which, having been built of wood, was tumbling to pieces. It was therefore necessary to build a new one of stone. The only difference was that it would be somewhat higher. With regard to the superintendent's lodge, Mr. Grant undertook to build a new one, provided the old lodge, which stood in front of his house, was removed, and for that purpose he paid £1,500 into the Exchequer. Of that sum, £1,300 was spent on the new lodge, and £200 was paid for lodgings for the superintendent while the new lodge was building. When he (Mr. Noel) entered on his present Office, he looked around the Park to find a suitable place for the lodge, and many sites were pointed out to him; but he could not approve of any of them, as they would disfigure the Park, and he selected the present site as it was in proximity to the police lodge, the Guards' lodge, and other buildings. Though a slight encroachment had been made on the Park, yet half as much had not been taken away from the public as had been given to them in Kensington Gardens when the old lodge was taken down. If the new lodge had been built on the edge of the Park, it must have stood in front of some house, and no doubt the owner would have objected.


thought the explanation of the right hon. Gentleman was satisfactory as regarded the lodge, but not as regarded the stores.


said, that the lodge ought to have been left in front of a house, whether the owner objected or not, unless on public grounds some other site was desirable.

Question put.

The House divided:— Ayes 82; Noes 29: Majority 53.—(Div. List, No. 262.)


complained of the charge for the preservation of game in Richmond Part, which, he submitted, interfered with the right of the public to the use of the Park. When the public paid for the maintenance of the Park, the public rights ought not to be interfered with on account of the preservation of game. He must express his regret that, a division having already been taken, he could not move an Amendment to reduce the amount by the salaries of the gatekeepers. The Park was maintained by the public, and the public ought to benefit by it.


, in reply, said, that no one was more anxious than himself not to interfere with the enjoyment of persons frequenting the Park; but he could not think that the preservation of the game there was in any way hurtful to the public. The game was, for the most part, given to the London hospitals or the poor of Richmond. Not only that, but hundreds and thousands of people who visited the Park derived the greatest pleasure and amusement from seeing the game running about. It was all very well for the hon. Member, who could shoot game every day in the year, to object to this; but to the poor people who went there from the East-end of London it was a very different thing. As for the plantations, they were not intended for preserving game; but were necessary in order to beautify the Park and to replace the trees, which, in the course of time, withered and decayed, and out of the total acreage of the Park only 240 acres were planted. Besides, during the last five years, more land had been thrown into the Park than had been planted; and the public could not complain if, while five acres were planted in one part, 14 were thrown in in another.

Resolution agreed to.

SUPPLY [7th August],—Postponed Resolution [reported 8th August], considered.

Resolution again read, as followeth:— That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £5,520, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1879, for the Maintenance and Repair of Royal Palaces.


complained of the actual destruction that took place in consequence of the so-called restoration of St. George's Chapel, Windsor, which, in his opinion, was mere Vandalism. He moved that the Vote be reduced by £500.

Amendment proposed, to leave out "£5,520," in order to insert "£5,020," —(Sir Charles W. Dilke,)—instead thereof.

Question proposed, "That '£5,520' stand part of the Resolution."


explained that the Dean and Chapter had already spent £23,000 on the work of restoration all the funds at their disposal, and Her Majesty's Government had, in response to an application made to them, agreed to provide £5,000 of the £9,000 odd which were still necessary to complete the work. St. George's Chapel was attached to the Royal Palace, and, therefore, it was only right that Parliament should contribute to the expenses of its restoration.


protested against the transformation of ancient buildings of this kind. He was favourable to restoration, but not to ruin. They might as well try to make an old lady young, by dressing her eyebrows, putting salve on her lips, and painting her cheeks, as to restore an ancient building by the method adopted in this case.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 93; Noes 31: Majority 62.—(Div. List, No. 263.)

Resolution agreed to.

SUPPLY [8th August.]—Resolutions reported.

First Four Resolutions agreed to.

Fifth Resolution read a second time.


called attention to the hours of labour of the men working in the Dockyards at Malta. He said, their work had recently greatly increased, consequently they stood in a difficult and worse position than that of the workmen in the Dockyards of this country. What these men at Malta wished to be done was to be placed in the same position as other of Her Majesty's servants. He did not desire to trouble the House at any length; but wished to state it had been promised that something should be done in the matter. No change, however, had taken place; but he hoped during the coming year that something would be done to place the men at Malta upon an equal footing with the workmen of other naval yards.


undertook to look into the matter, which had not before been brought under his attention.


drew attention to the high rates which had been agreed to be paid for ships chartered at Bombay for the conveyance to Malta of the Indian contingent. The price paid— £130,000—was, in his opinion, excessive; and, as he thought that the Indian officials had acted recklessly in the matter, in order to mark his sense of the disregard of the interests of the taxpayers, he would move to reduce the Vote by £20,000. He grounded his proposal on the fact that the freight market at Bombay was at the time so low, that vessels might have been chartered at a rate per ton so much cheaper as to have saved the amount which he wished to strike off the Vote.

Amendment proposed, to leave out "£678,000," in order to insert " £658,000,"—(Mr. David Jenkins,)— instead thereof.

Question proposed, "That '£678,000' stand part of the Resolution."


while not agreeing in the sweeping condemnation of the Indian officials, admitted that, in the present instance, undue liberality had been displayed. He should like to understand whether the item of £130,000 was for taking back the troops to India? He was under the impression that the original Estimate of £750,000 was to cover the whole expense of the troops. If it was not, the whole cost would be brought up to something like £1,000,000. The question, however, was—were these freights extravagant or not? In his opinion, the tonnage rate was not by any means excessive, considering the Government wished to carry out the coup like a flash of lightning. He did not think the Indian officials had much regard for the British taxpayer; and Sir Richard Temple was willing to pay these high freights at Bombay rather than send round to Calcutta, where there was abundance of shipping waiting for employment.


also opposed the Amendment, which would be a reflec- tion upon Sir Richard Temple and the other officials at Bombay. If there was one man who knew how to save a sixpence, it was Sir Richard Temple, who was responsible for this matter. He appealed to hon. Members not to pass what would be tantamount to a vote of censure on that most worthy public servant.


contended that there must be some misapprehension on the part of his hon. Friend the Member for Falmouth (Mr. D. Jenkins), as to the costly rate at which the sailing vessels had been engaged as transports; for, although Sir Richard Temple was not the most economical man in India, the freight of the ships in question had been managed at a far more economical rate than they would have been had they been sent out from this country. In fact, the freights, which averaged about £1 per ton, were exceedingly reasonable; indeed, most of these sailing vessels were, according to the abstract laid before the House, engaged at less than 10 rupees a-ton. As regard the steamers, the hon. Gentleman might be correct, because he (General Sir George Balfour) was quite unable to speak thereon.


said, he should have been sorry to have joined in any sweeping condemnation of our Indian officials, like that of the hon. Member for Falmouth (Mr. D. Jenkins), because they had chartered vessels at Bombay instead of at Calcutta. He would admit that if Sir Richard Temple had sent round to Calcutta he would have found there plenty of vessels; but he would have had to pay additional rates, on account of the nearness of the monsoon, and it was doubtful if they could have been got round Cape Comorin and have arrived in Bombay in sufficient time for the urgent service which they were required to perform. The emergency was so pressing as to allow of no delay. The charge before the House included the return of the troops, so that no additional demand in respect of this particular would come before them.


said, that after that explanation, he would withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Resolution agreed to.

Subsequent Resolutions agreed to.