HC Deb 17 June 1889 vol 337 cc10-1
MR. AIRD (Paddington, N.)

I beg to ask the First Commissioner of Works if the arrangements are now complete for the erection of the National Portrait Gallery?


The gentleman whose generous offer I have already explained to the House has concluded his arrangements with the Government for the purpose of providing a building for the National Portrait Gallery, and has undertaken to complete it, subject to the approval of the Office of Works, within three years. With this view he has given instructions to Mr. Euan Christian, the eminent architect, who is now preparing the necessary sketch plans, after consultation with Mr. Scharff, whose services in connection with the National Portrait Gallery are well known to the public. The Government have, with his entire approval, promised the donor, as a site for the building, the space now vacant at the back of the National Gallery, facing St. Martin's Church and the new Charing Cross Road. It will be necessary to pass a short Act of Parliament in order to make that space available for the purpose, and I shall at once ask leave to bring in the Bill. I am glad to be able to add that the Trustees of the National Gallery, in view of the undertaking of the Government to provide, if necessary, further space for their wants in the barrack-yard, will make no objections to our proposals, and approve generally of our scheme, while, in the opinion of the Trustees of the National Portrait Gallery, the site we offer leaves nothing to be desired.