HC Deb 25 April 1898 vol 56 c946
SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)

I beg to ask the First Commissioner of Works what portion of the new buildings at South Kensington under the Public Buildings Expenses Act is to be devoted to the housing of the art collections and what portion to services connected with science; whether the space given to art is to be trenched on by the importation into the art part of some science collections at present housed on the western side of Exhibition Road, and to what extent; whether it is computed by the Lords of the Council that the space assigned to art will suffice for the due exhibition of the magnificent collections at present in the South Kensington Museum; and whether the Lord President of the Council has consulted, on the proposed distribution of the new available space, the Art Committee of Referees?


It is impossible, at the present stage, to reply to the right hon. Baronet's Question categorically. An inter-Departmental Committee appointed by the Lord President of the Council and myself are now engaged in considering the details of the appropriation of the site to the east of Exhibition Road, and that Committee have called upon the architect, Mr. Aston Webb, whose design was approved in 1892, to prepare a modified plan showing how the art collection can be housed, subject to the condition that the Royal College of Science, already placed upon the east side of the road, shall be so enlarged as to accommodate other services connected with science, which have been specified by the Lords of the Council. When the new plans have been prepared I should be in a position to reply to the right hon. Gentleman's Question, of which I will give him due notice.