§ MR. MASSEY-MAINWARING (Finsbury, Central)
I beg to ask the First Commissioner of Works whether he can state when the first contract for the foundations of the Victoria and Albert Museum runs out, what amount of money will have been spent under this contract, and what amount remains unspent, and when will the foundations be completed; has any contract been concluded for the basement of the Museum; have any tenders been invited for the main building; and, if not, what is the cause of delay in their issue; are the plans complete; have any modifications or alterations been made in them to diminish the extent of the Museum; and have delays been caused through certain special materials being ordered in not sufficient time for the building, the foundation stone of which was laid by Her late Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria more than two years ago.
§ THE FIRST COMMISSIONER OF WORKS (Mr. AKERS DOUGLAS, Kent, St. Augustine's)
The foundations are completed, and the contract was for £33,410. A second contract has been made for building to the ground-floor level, and this work is now being proceeded with. As soon as this is finished tenders will at once be invited for the superstructure, the plans being now practically ready. No alterations that I am aware of have been made which would reduce the size of the museum, and no delays of importance have occurred, the work being completed within the allotted time. The contract for the foundations was not entered into until some time after the laying of the memorial stone, that ceremony having taken place in advance to suit Her late Majesty's arrangements.