HC Deb 23 June 1882 vol 271 cc203-4

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether, supposing a special grant has been given to the Trustees of the National Gallery for the purchase of pictures at the Hamilton sale, the sum in question amounts to less than the lapsed balances of the annual National Gallery grant for the last two years; whether the Trustees, consequent upon the recommendations of the Select Committee on the National Gallery in 1853, and the Treasury Minute of 1855, have hitherto always received the full amount of the said lapsed balances as special occasion arose; whether, if such be the case, the present repayment of a portion of lapsed balances can be properly considered as a special grant; and, whether, supposing the sum in question to be inadequate to meet the requirements of the Trustees, such additional money as may be necessary will be given by the Treasury?


In regard to this Question, I think my noble Friend has not been quite accurately informed. He wishes to know whether the sum the Treasury has placed at the disposal of the National Gallery for purchases at the Hamilton sale amounts to less than the actual balances of the National Gallery grant for the last two years. I have already said, and my noble Friend will feel there is some reason in it, that it is not my intention to enter into any statement of figures, but I may inform him that the sum is not less than the balances; on the contrary, it is considerably more.