HC Deb 10 June 1880 vol 252 cc1616-7

asked the First Commissioner of Works, Whether, in pursuance of his undertaking, he can now state whether the Trustees of the National Gallery have arrived at any deci- sion with regard to keeping open the Galleries to a late hour during the summer months, dispensing with the annual closing during the month of October, and affording additional facilities to the public on students' days; and, whether he will lay upon the Table of the House Copies of these Resolutions, with any remarks of the Trustees explanatory of them?


Since my hon. Friend questioned me on this subject on the 31st ultimo, a meeting of the Trustees of the National Gallery has been held, at which certain resolutions were passed, of which I will give the substance. First, the Trustees and Directors strongly recommend that the present system of closing the Gallery for some weeks during the autumn should be discontinued or modified, and they foresee no difficulty in carrying out some arrangement to this effect if a sufficient addition be made to the staff; secondly, that they see no objection to extending the hours of admission in summer if the additional attendance required be provided; thirdly, that, although they are of opinion that the indiscriminate admission of the public on students' days might be attended with injury to the Collection, and would cause much inconvenience to the students; still, if it be thought advisable that a change in the existing rules should be made, they will carefully consider and report upon the various modes in which such a change can be carried out with the least inconvenience. Further, the Trustees are willing that I should lay on the Table copies of these Resolutions, and of any remarks that they have to make explanatory of them. Under these circumstances, the Trustees having come forward so promptly to meet wishes expressed in this House, I trust that I may appeal to the hon. Member for Middlesex (Mr. Coope) not to proceed with his Motion to-night.