HC Deb 09 July 1888 vol 328 cc739-40
MR. ADDISON (Ashton-under-Lyne)

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, Whether his attention has been called to the inconvenience occasioned by the fact that the three great National Art Institutions—namely, the British Museum, the National Gallery, and the South Kensington Museum, are under different and separate Governing Bodies; and, whether he will consider the desirability of amalgamating the Trustees of the British Museum, the Directors of the National Gallery, and the authorities at South Kensington into one Body, so as to secure greater unity, simplicity and efficiency in the administration of these Institutions?

THE FIRST LORD (Mr. W. H. SMITH) (Strand, Westminster)

The question raised is a large and difficult one, as the three Institutions named are managed under different Acts of Parliament, and awkward questions of Trust would arise. The proposal of the hon. Member might or might not lead to the favourable results he anticipates; but the Government, in the absence of further proof as to the wisdom of the amalgamation, are not prepared to give any pledge on the subject.