HC Deb 28 July 1891 vol 356 cc552-3
MR. DE LISLE (Leicestershire, Mid.)

I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the recommendations of the Royal Academy Commission Report, 1863, have been generally carried out; whether especially the recommendation (page ix.) That to the 50 professional academicians there should he added 10 members not being artists, subject to the confirmation of the Crown, has been carried out; and, if so, who are the 10 lay Members; whether (Report B, page xiv.) the hope expressed in Sir Francis Chantrey's will, That the Government will provide a suitable and proper building or accommodation for the preservation and exhibition of the Bequest pictures as the property of the Nation has also been carried into effect; and, if so, which is the suitable accommodation; and whether the pictures exhibited in the South Kensington Museum labelled "Lent by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest," are recognised as "the property of the Nation"?


I need hardly remind the hon. Member that the Royal Academy is not a Government Department or under Government control. Speaking generally, I understand that some of the recommendations of the 1863 Commission have been carried out, and some not, and that the proposed addition of 10 lay Academicians falls within the latter class. For further information on the subject I would refer the hon. Member to the Academy's observations upon the Commission's Report, dated March 15, 1864, and presented to Parliament in the same year, and also to their subsequent correspondence with the Office of Works, presented to Parliament in 1866. As regards the hon. Member's last two questions, the hope expressed by Sir Francis Chantrey has not yet been realised. The pictures are merely lent temporarily to the South Kensington Museum by the Trustees, and until suitable buildings or accommodation have been provided, the Trustees may fairly hold that the pictures are not the property of the nation.