§ MR. DE LISLE (Leicestershire, Mid)
asked the First Commissioner of Works, What was the cost of the great mosaic of St. George in the Central Lobby; if he can state the reasons, other than financial, why the remaining arched spaces have been allowed to remain so long in their present bare and unsightly condition; whether designs for these three spaces have ever been executed, and are still in existence; what their character and estimated cost; and, whether Her Majesty's Government can hold out any 662 hope that before long exertions will be made to complete the mosaics in a manner becoming the beauty of the Lobby and the dignity of Parliament?
§ THE FIRST COMMISSIONER (Mr. PLUNKET) (Dublin University)
The total cost of the mosaic of St. George in the Central Lobby, including £150 paid to Mr. Poynter for the design, was £665. In consequence of the opinion expressed by Messrs. Cope, Horsley, Ward, Armitage, Poynter, and Watts to then First Commissioner, Mr. Ayrton, in 1870, it was deemed inexpedient to proceed further with mosaic pictures. A Committee was, however, appointed to report on the subject of fresco painting, which was duly presented to the House on the 12th February, 1872, and subsequently printed. Mr. Ayrton submitted to Parliament an Estimate of £500 for 1872–3 for completing one panel in fresco. The item was, however, struck out in Committee of Supply. Nothing has since been done in the matter, nor can I hold out any hope that anything will immediately be done to till the vacant panel, for which, no designs exist.