§ *SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)
I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in reference to the Report recommending the immediate rebuilding of the greater part 154 of South Kensington Museum, and the necessity which has arisen for acquiring a house for the Hertford Collection, he will consider the wisdom of spreading the charge over a period of years, as has been done for Naval works and for Military works in the Naval Works Acts of several Sessions and in the Military Works Act of the present Session?
§ *THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Sir MICHAEL HICKS BEACH,) Bristol, W.
The matter will be considered in connection with the large expenditure which must soon be incurred for Government buildings generally, and so long as the money borrowed is repaid by terminable annuities in a reasonable period, I think there is a good deal to be said for such a policy.
§ MR. T. LOUGH (Islington, W.)
Arising out of that Question, I wish to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether or not there is any truth in the rumour that the South Kensington Museum will be closed for a number of years?
§ *THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
I do not think any decision has been arrived at. But it seems to me that it will probably be necessary that some of the valuable objects in that Museum shall be removed from places where they are now in danger. ["Hear, hear!"] The Government have under consideration the necessity of rebuilding —["hear, hear!"]—and I think the removal of those objects is a matter that will have to be dealt with first.