HC Deb 19 February 1900 vol 79 cc376-7

I beg to ask the First Commissioner of Works whether, seeing that in the Supplementary Estimates provision is asked for the sum of £5,850 for the purchase of certain properties in St. Martin's Street for the National Gallery extension, it is the ultimate intention of Her Majesty's Government to make the National Gallery a detached building; and if so, whether steps will be taken to arrest the progress of rebuilding public houses and other shop properties which must seriously increase demands for compensation when the time shall arrive for their compulsory acquisition.


The acquisition of the property in question removes a source of possible danger from fire, and is intended to meet eventual needs of the National Gallery extension. The National Gallery is at the present moment practically a detached building, although connecting screen walls give it the appearance of being in dangerous communication with adjacent buildings. I should like to see a wider space dividing it from St. George's Barracks, and this advantage will be secured when a portion of the barracks shall have been removed on the completion of the new War Department buildings at Chelsea and Millbank, now under construction. In reply to the last paragraph of the question, no property such as is described by my hon. friend would come within the limit of our scheme.