HC Deb 21 March 1881 vol 259 cc1511-2

asked the First Commissioner of Works, Whether the statue of Earl Russell lately erected in the Central Hall is to remain permanently on its present site; whether the site has been approved by the Department of Works, and whether before approval the Department of Works has asked or obtained the opinion of the Royal Institute of British Architects, or of any other competent architectural authority, whether such a statue could be placed in the Central Hall without detriment to architectural effect; and, whether the statue has been set up in the Central Hall at the public cost; and, if so, whether the sum necessary to defray this charge has been included in any Estimate which has been laid before Parliament?


The statue of Earl Russell was erected in the Central Hall in pursuance of the authority given in May, 1879, by the Deputy Lord Great Chamberlain, on the application of the then First Commissioner, the right hon. Member for Rutlandshire (Mr. Gerard Noel). Before that authority was given a model of the statue was erected on the proposed site, and received the approval of a Committee composed of a number of distinguished persons, including the then Prime Minister and the present Prime Minister. The site was also approved by the late Mr. Edward Barry, the son of the architect of the building, and himself a distinguished architect, and who was generally consulted on matters affecting architectural changes in this building. No expense has fallen upon the Government in the erection of the statue. Under these circumstance, it is not my intention to make any suggestion for the removal of the statue of this distinguished statesman.