HC Deb 24 May 1900 vol 83 cc1117-8

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether the Board of Works recently employed an English firm to repair and ornament the Wellington Monument, Phoenix Park; was the work done by contract after tender, and what was the amount expended, at whose instance or suggestion was the expenditure authorised, and wore there any public complaints of the condition of the monument; and was the monument erected by the Board of Works or by private subscription, and did the Treasury previously authorise the expenditure, and on what representations.


The firm employed on the work lately done on the Wellington Monument—Messrs. Hunter, of Belfast —was not English, but Irish. The work involved nothing of an ornamental character. It consisted in fitting the monument with a lightning conductor and doing certain repairs, the necessity for which was discovered when the conductor was being fitted. The fitting of the conductor was done on tender obtained after competition between three Irish firms. The repairs were done on an estimate obtained during the progress of the fitting, this being the most economical method, as the plant required for fixing the lightning conductor could thus be utilised. The amount expended on the lightning conductor was £54 and on the repairs £25. The work was done without suggestion from any outside source, and on the motion of the Board. There were no public complaints as to the condition of the monument. The monument was erected by subscriptions, but after its erection £1,500 was expended out of moneys voted by Parliament in the provision of bas-reliefs. The Treasury did not previously authorise the recent expenditure. It came under the head of "Maintenance," and therefore did not require special Treasury sanction.


I think the money might have been more usefully spent on the walks.