§ MR. FRANCIS POWELL (Wigan)
I beg to ask the First Commissioner of Works whether his attention has been directed to the unsatisfactory condition of the shed at the South Kensington Museum wherein are deposited the drawings and other works of art sent from schools in connection with the Science and Art Department, and whether he proposes to take steps in order to protect them from further injury by rain in consequence of the defective condition of the building; whether there is adequate security against fire where there is so large a collection of inflammable material; and, whether the adjoining buildings of the Museum are duly protected against serious damage by fire should a tire occur in the shed containing the drawings?
§ MR. PLUNKET
The attention of the Office of Works has not been called to the unsatisfactory condition of the shed named in the question of my hon. Friend beyond the general complaint which has been made as to the unsuitable nature of the present temporary accommodation in connection with the desire of the Science and Art Department to have the Museum buildings completed in a permanent manner. On the 27th of May last a requisition was sent in for the repair of the gutters of the roof of the building, a leakage having taken place during a storm, and the necessary repairs were at once executed. I am assured that the roof, although old and patched, is waterproof, and that the other parts of the building 548 are sound. The arrangements for the security of the shed, as well as of the whole of the Museum buildings, against fire rest with the Science and Art Department, by whom, I believe, the usual provision is made.