§ MR. SINCLAIR
moved an Amendment dealing with the allocation of sums out of the general fund of the Board of Manufactures. He said he would like to take this opportunity of stating the financial arrangements which were consequent on the new distribution of buildings carried out by the Bill. At present, as the Committee were aware, the Board of Manufactures had for its resources a capital sum of about £38,000, and an annuity of £2,000, called the service annuity, from the Treaty of Union. That was supplemented by a small grant. He should mention that the responsibilities which fell upon the Board of Manufactures in connection with these galleries, and which were defrayed out of the funds he had mentioned, were, in the first place, the cost of maintenance of the buildings, which represented approximately £1,130 annually; and, in the second place, the payment of the officers of the various institutions, giving a total of £2,560. In aid of that expenditure they received a grant of £800, which left the average annual expenditure at £1,760. The expenditure in future would be increased by the maintenance charges which would be due on the new buildings to be occupied by the Royal Society. So it might safely be estimated that the total charges of maintenance in these two respects would not be less than £2,000 a year. These were the present arrangements, and would hold until the Bill became law, when the Treasury had agreed to enter upon new arrangements which were much more satisfactory and much more generous. That was really the consideration which he thought should prompt them to do everything they could to pass the Bill into law. Members were aware that the first result of the distribution of buildings was that the Royal Society, which had hitherto occupied rooms in the Royal Instution building, would leave those and go to new promises which were to be acquired for them, leaving the Royal Institution building as a whole for the occupation of the Royal Academy. In its present condition, however, it was not adapted for use as picture galleries, and considerable expenditure would be required to fit it for that purpose. That expenditure would be borne entirely by the Treasury, and it would reach a sum 863 of £14,000. The outline sketch plans for the adaptation of the building promised to be entirely successful, and to give complete satisfaction not only to the city of Edinburgh, but also to artists. Then came the question of the expenses, which amounted to not less than £2,000 a year. That charge had hitherto been borne partly by a grant of £800. It would in future be borne by the Treasury and by Votes in Parliament. The Treasury would thus fit up the new Royal Academy at a cost of at least £14,000. They provided by the Votes £2,000 a year, which was at present borne by the Board of Manufactures as part of its annual expenditure. Then there was a sum of £1,000 a year which was already enjoyed, dating from the publication of the report, and was now given for the purchase of pictures. In addition to that the Board of Trustees would have at their disposal £2,000 a year, being the Scottish annuity. That would form part of their income for the purposes of art in Scotland. These were the details of the income of the new Board of Trustees. One further change must be alluded to. The School of Art, which had hitherto occupied premises in the Royal Institution, would be removed to other premises as a result of the combined effort of the Edinburgh Corporation and other bodies. Out of the capital sum of £38,000 belonging to the Board of Manufactures, it was proposed to give a sum of not more than £10,000 as an aid to the establishment of this School of Art. He had now to mention the arrangements proposed for the housing of the Royal Society. For that purpose it was proposed to expend £28,000 of the capital in the hands of the Board of Manufactures. A sum of £25,000 would go to the purchase of a building, and £3,000 would cover the expenses of fitting up, redecorating the new premises, and transferring the library and other effects of the Royal Society to the Royal Institution. The Treasury were giving the Royal Society a grant of not more than £600 a year. At present the Royal Society received a grant of £300 a year, which grant was paid by them as rent for the part of the Royal Institution which they now occupied. In future the Royal Society would be placed in occupation of their new premises, and they would also have the grant of £600 864 a year for scientific purposes, and would be free from any obligation to pay rent. He thought it would be conceded that the Treasury had been, not extravagant in this matter, but generous. Some criticism might be directed to the proposal to employ part of the accumulated funds of the Board of Manufactures in the purchase of a building for the Royal Society. On more than one occasion, however, the savings of the Board of Manufactures had been employed in the erection of buildings. Notably they made an important contribution of £47,000 in the year 1823 for the erection of the Royal Institution building. The Royal Society from that date had occupied rooms in the Royal Institution building, and had certainly a claim to be considered in any new arrangements which involved their removal from those rooms. Under the arrangement proposed the Royal Society had received nothing but fair treatment. The money could not under the circumstances be put to any better use than to be invested for the nation in the premises about to be occupied by the Royal Society. The effort of the Government had been to treat with equal consideration the claims of science and of art. The new Board of Trustees would find themselves unfettered by any other consideration than the duty of promoting the fine arts of Scotland and caring for the National Galleries. They would also find themselves in possession of a very handsome income, which would be devoted to these purposes. On the other hand, the Royal Society would be placed in a position, he hoped, of equal comfort in regard to their accommodation, though, perhaps, the new accommodation would not have the historic interest which the occupancy of the Royal Institution had. They would also find themselves in possession of a handsome income to be devoted to scientific purposes, he hoped that these new arrangements, which would give much greater liberty, much greater scope to the interests of art and science in Scotland, would also give an encouragement and a stimulus to those who were actively interested in Scotland in art and science, and make them feel that they had public support behind them in maintaining the position of Scotland in these progressive times in regard to both art and science.
§ Amendment proposed—
§ "In page 3, line 17, at beginning, to insert, '(1) It shall be lawful for the Secretary for Scotland to allocate out of the General Fund of the Board of Manufactures such sums as may be prescribed (a) towards the building and equipment of a School of Art in Edinburgh; (b) for the purchase, erection, and equipment of buildings, and for the purchase of any land necessary in connection therewith to be vested in the Commissioners of Works, and to be used for the purposes of the Royal Society of Edinburgh until otherwise prescribed with the consent of the Treasury."—(Mr. Sinclair.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ MR. ANNAN BRYCE (Inverness Burghs)
asked whether they were to understand that the whole of the £1,000 a year, to which the right hon. Gentleman had referred, would be devoted to the purchase of pictures?
§ MR. SINCLAIR
No. At present they paid their officers and the maintenance cost of their buildings. Both of those charges would, under this arrangement, be undertaken by the Treasury.
§ MR. SINCLAIR
said it was not. This money had been accumulating for years. The Board of Manufactures had not been a very enterprising body, and matters had been rearranged so that all these Boards should have a definite income and a definite purpose.
§ MR. ANNAN BRYCE
said he wanted to ascertain what net clear amount of money in the future would be available for the purchase of pictures.
§ MR. SINCLAIR
said the Board of Trustees were not obliged to spend every penny in the actual purchase of pictures; they had also a distinct duty to care for the national galleries and promote the fine arts in Scotland. They had a clear 866 income of £3,000 unfettered by any obligation as to management.
§ MR. ANNAN BRYCE
asked whether a certain proportion of that amount would go in payment of expenses. If so, it would be necessary to distinguish between the payment of expenses and the amount available for the purchase of pictures and objects of art.
§ MR. SINCLAIR
said the maintenance expenses would be paid for them. The Board would have in the first place a grant of £1,000 a year from the Treasury, which would be expended in the purchase of pictures, and it would probably have an income from the Scottish annuity of £2,000 a year, which they would spend as they thought proper within the limits of the Bill—it might be on pictures. The officers of the Board would be paid by the Treasury.
§ LORD BALCARRES
said if he referred back to the Estimates he thought he would be able to show that a specific grant of £1,000 was allotted to Scotland for the purchase of pictures. That was the amount Ireland had received for generations. This Amendment, which had been on the Paper for forty-eight hours only, would change the whole scope of the Bill. The truth of the matter was that the Secretary for Scotland was going to take art money to pay a science obligation. He was prepared to show that this money was art money in spite of the fact that the Board of Manufactures had control over the sciencebuilding—the Royal Society Building. This scheme gave the Secretary for Scotland two powers—to take out of invested capital as much as he thought fit, first, for the School of Art in Edinburgh; and, secondly, for the erection and equipment of buildings for the Royal Society. On the first point, he did not much like taking the money of the Board of Manufactures for building a School of Art in Edinburgh; but, at all events, it was an art purpose, and as such, to his mind, was less objectionable than the second item of the scheme, which was to take the capital of the Board of Manufactures to pay for the Royal Society. The right hon. Gentleman had told the Committee earlier in the debate that the new Board would have nothing whatever to do with science, 867 and that the sum of money required for the Art School was about £10,000; but the right hon. Gentleman did not tell them how much of the remainder was to be allotted to the Royal Society. The total, he understood, was £38,000, so that there was a balance of £28,000, which could be devoted to that purpose. This Amendment was inconsistent with the original Bill altogether. Under Clause 6, as introduced, all property belonging to the Board would be in future vested in trust for the promotion of fine art in Scotland, and under that clause it would not have been right to hand over this money to pay for the Royal Society. The Royal Society had been for sixty or eighty years in those buildings, which were largely built for them by the Board of Manufactures. The origin of this money could in no way whatever be credited to science. Science had never paid the Board of Manufactures except their rent. No portion of the accumulated funds, except perhaps an odd thousand or two, could be ascribed to science, although an immense amount could be definitely ascribed to art. The income from accumulated capital was insufficient to buy first-class pictures, and a few hundred pounds spent in the 'forties, 'fifties, and 'sixties well spent would have gone further than as many thousands spent to-day. Therefore, from the point of view of accumulating money for the purchase of works of art, the policy was indefensible; but that was no reason why the money should now be taken away from art and given to science. It was an obligation of the Government to rehouse the Royal Society at their expense, and not at the expense of the Board of Manufactures, out of Scottish money. The right hon. Gentleman had said the Royal Society was to get £600 a year from the Exchequer. The Treasury had been generous towards the Royal Society, but its generosity towards that institution was very much counterbalanced by a marked lack of generosity towards the Board of Manufactures. Up to a very few weeks ago it was quite understood that the Government was going to rehouse the Royal Society. [An Hon. Member: It is.] He did not think they could say that the Government was going to pay for the rehousing of the Society if the actual sum for the purpose was coming out of the Board of Manufactures. Five 868 or six years ago the hoarding of this money by the Board of Manufactures was criticised, and then somewhat suddenly they spent £5,000 or £6,000 on a picture, lout the Royal Society never suggested at that time that any equivalent grant should be paid over to them. It never occurred to them to do so; they did not look upon the accumulated funds of the Board of Manufactures as belonging to themselves in any sense. He would like the legal opinion of the Lord Advocate if he were wrong in saying that the present Board of Manufactures as constituted was entitled to go into Bond-street and spend £35,000 on a picture next week. Legally and technically he believed that would be within their rights. At all events there was a strong prima facie case that this money was, and always had been, regarded as art money. The Treasury had been generous to the Royal Society at the expense of the Board of Manufactures. What he had looked forward to was a strong new Board competent to give expert advice, who, on accession to office, would be able to make a start and purchase works of art for Scotland. There was no public gallery in Europe in which the proportion of pictures presented by private individuals was larger than in the National Gallery of Scotland. Of the pictures 98 per cent. were private donations and only 2 per cent. purchases by the nation. He submitted that the £38,000—apart from the £10,000 for the School of Art—belonged to the nation to be spent in the promotion of art in Scotland.
§ *MR. THOMAS SHAW
admitted that according to the point of view from which the noble Lord presented his case there was at first sight a great deal to be said for the arguments he used. In short, the noble Lord had dealt with one side of the account only. The proposal to which the noble Lord really took exception was with regard to the £28,000, which remained after the grant of £10,000 to the School of Art. If the situation were left as it was the result in his view would be to lose an opportunity of benefiting the Royal Society and also of benefiting the cause of art in Scotland. The National Gallery would have been under the old arrangement left under the obligation to pay their own officers out of the £28,000, which, if invested in ordinary quarters, would produce about 869 £1,000 a year. Instead of that his right hon. friend—and he congratulated him on his transaction with the Treasury—had transformed the whole position, and had said, "Let the capital go and in place of the Treasury giving a miserable £1,000 a year let it give a handsome grant." What the Treasury had done was three-fold. In the first place it had agreed to defray all the working costs equal to £2,000 a year, it had consented to buy pictures up to £1,000 a year, and it had made a new grant of £2,000 a year in perpetuity.
§ *MR. THOMAS SHAW
said the Treasury had put the £2,000 a year which was Scottish money on to the Consolidated Fund. Accordingly there would be now a gross income for the National Gallery of £2,000 to pay the working charges, £1,000 for pictures, and £2,000 out of the Treasury with which sum pictures might also be purchased and other expenses defrayed In the promotion of art. He was not sure that the noble Lord was right in putting the situation of the Royal Society on the low platform he had placed it. He did not think the Royal Society would have been able in a Court of law to establish a legal claim, but after having been accommodated for so many years it would be a Parliamentary outrage to dispossess the Royal Society without giving them somewhere else to go—especially so, as the dispossession resulted in a benefit to art, because they had increased the buildings available for art to the extent to which science had been dispossessed. It was an entire mistake to think that Scottish money had been encroached upon. For what had been utilised for the Royal Society, more than a quid pro quo had been got by an annual revenue on a scale hitherto unknown. Looking all round the subject he thought the transaction had been a fair one, and he thought, upon the whole, seeing what they had been accustomed to from the Treasury for the past ten years, it had been a very happy change for both sides.
§ MR. YOUNGER
said it was a deal no doubt, and to some extent it was probably an improvement on the present position, but he was afraid he 870 could not admit the claim of the Lord Advocate that it was a very great improvement. The Treasury were discharging the whole of their obligations in respect of the School of Art by the £10,000 which was proposed to be taken from the £38,000, leaving £28,000 which of course, would have been left at interest to pay the expenses for which the Treasury were going to assume the responsibility. All that the Treasury, however, was really doing was to give the difference between £1,640 and £2,000. Undoubtedly there was to be an expenditure of £14,000 on the Gallery, but they were going to substitute that for what amounted to £1,640, and they were only going to retain the £1,000 grant and the £2,000 of Scottish annuities.
§ *MR. THOMAS SHAW
said the matter was very much stronger than he at first put it if the hon. Member took into account the £14,000, because, assuming the £28,000 was being taken away, at the same time half of that was being spent upon the repair of the buildings, and, in addition, there was the annual cost defrayed on the scale he had mentioned.
§ MR. YOUNGER
said he gave the Lord Advocate credit for the full £14,000, but what he wanted to point out was that, although the Bill was to a certain extent advantageous, it was not so advantageous as the right hon. Gentleman made out in his very able arguments, and it did not discharge the full obligation of the Treasury to Scotland in this matter. He thought the Treasury might have been a little more generous and themselves provided for the Royal Society.
§ *MR. McCRAE
said he did not think the Treasury were doing too much in this matter, although he thought Scotland stood to gain a great deal under the Bill. In future the Treasury would discharge certain obligations by which Scotland would get a clear gain of £2,000 a year. In addition to that they would get £14,000 which the Treasury was going to give towards reconstruction of the National Gallery. He would like to know from the Secretary for Scotland whether, in addition to that sum, there would also come 871 from the Treasury an extra £300 for the Royal Society. That would make an addition of £2,300 a year at least. The noble Lord opposite had raised the question of the proportion, not as between the Treasury and Scotland, but as between art and science, but he appeared to have left out of account the fact that the accumulations which amounted to £38,000 were originally derived from the Board of Manufactures, and from that point of view science had a fair claim to a share of the money. Under the proposed arrangement art as distinguished from science was getting the use of the buildings. They were getting a grant from the Treasury which certainly was better than before, and therefore between science and art he did not think there was any grievance. He thought the right hon. Gentleman was to be complimented on the patience and tact with which he had carried out some very delicate negotiations in regard to this measure, and he thought the Royal Society were to be congratulated because they had come very well out of the negotiations.
§ *MR. MORTON
said they had not had much time to consider the effect of these proposals, but as far as he could calculate he thought the answer would be "thank you for nothing." Scotland would not get anything out of the arrangement which she had not already got. It was notorious that some millions of money were due to Scotland if she only got her legitimate share. It had been said that the proper way to succeed in this matter was to be always in debt, and then there was some chance of getting assistance from the Treasury; but because they had been economical in Scotland and had saved money it was now proposed to take it away from them. He had listened carefully to the speech of the Lord Advocate, who was an excellent lawyer, but it was a well-known fact that lawyers knew nothing about finance, and he did not see that the arguments he had put forward helped them at all. His brief was badly drawn. He had mentioned the sum of £28,000, but he had forgotten to tell the Committee that that sum was really £38,000, and it was only after they had taken £10,000 away for something else that it was reduced. The Lord Advocate had 872 tried to make a great point as to the transfer of the £2,000 annuity from the Estimates to the Consolidated Fund. There was really no difference, whether the £2,000 came from the Estimates or the Consolidated Fund except that if it remained on the Estimates, this House retained control, whereas if placed on the Consolidated Fund this House lost all control, and that he supposed was the real object of the Scottish Office in making this proposal. The Lord-Advocate had stated that the Board of Manufactures could spend the whole of the £38,000 if they thought proper, but the Secretary for Scotland had already arranged to devote £10,000 to the School of Art, and he was going to take the remaining £28,000 on account of the Royal Society. He agreed that that Society ought to receive consideration, and they had a moral right to occupy the building on the Mound. He understood that they preferred to be left at their present buildings, because they would not be so well off if they were moved even when they got £28,000 for the building and possibly another £600 per annum. The right hon. Gentleman had spoken about some plans, but he had not seen them. Could they not leave it to the Board of Trustees to consider where the new building should be and what should be done with the money? They might consider the question whether there ought to be a new National Gallery upon another site altogether. According to the evidence given before the Committee the present site on the Mound was not considered to be a good one.
I understand that an Amendment will be moved on this particular point, and therefore the hon. Member ought not to discuss it now.
§ *MR. MORTON
said he was making those remarks with the idea of saving time instead of proposing the Amendment referred to. All he was asking for was that in regard to money Scotland should be treated as well as England or Ireland, and he thought they had a right to demand that under this new arrangement. His right hon. friend ought not to be afraid of the Treasury. Scotland contributed a vast sum of money to the revenue.
The hon. Member is getting very wide of this Amendment, and he is talking about increasing the grant. That is a question upon which no Amendment can be moved.
§ *MR. MORTON
said he hoped the Secretary for Scotland would not be satisfied until Scotland was treated at least as well as the other parts of the kingdom.
§ MR. AKERS-DOUGLAS
said that in finding a new home for the Royal Society he objected to the Government using money which was ear-marked for other purposes. He thought the Treasury might have been a little more generous in this matter; they had not given that amount of money to Scotland which they naturally expected considering that nine-tenths of the Cabinet were Scottish representatives or Scottish Peers. He regretted the right hon. Gentleman's decision upon this question. He thought it would be a pity to utilise the Institution buildings for purposes for which they were not originally intended. The Royal Society were well housed, and in his opinion they were in a far better position than the one which had been suggested. He wished to protest against robbing art to pay science. He thought it would have been far more generous on the part of the Government if they had found the necessary money to pay for these alterations rather than have appropriated money which had been ear-marked for other purposes and which ought to have been spent for special purposes instead of being hoarded up. He regretted that any portion of this money was to be used for the purpose of rehousing the Royal Society.
§ MR. BUCHANAN (Perthshire, E.)
said that during the discussions which took place in the Committee there were many difficulties to be encountered, and one of them was what was to be done with the Royal Society. It was held that if the Royal Society had to be moved it could only be moved to suitable quarters, and he ventured to assert that the proposal now made by the Secretary for Scotland had at least solved that difficulty. The Committee ought to remember that this was a difficulty which the right hon. Gentleman opposite and his colleagues attempted to deal with in the 874 last Parliament, but as the right hon. Gentleman well knew, there was many a slip between the Report of a Committee and the carrying out of their recommendations. By this measure the Secretary for Scotland had succeeded in solving some of those difficulties, although hon. Members might differ in regard to the amount which ought to be paid to the Royal Society. He was prepared to defend that amount. He had been a member of the Royal Society for twenty-five years; it occupied very convenient quarters for its purpose, and it was thought that at any rate that Society He should like to know whether they should be as well housed in the future as it had been in the past. He had considered these proposals very carefully, and he did not think they could honestly say that the Royal Society ought to be content with any sum less than that which was offered them. But even supposing they were paying a few thousand pounds more than the most rigid economist thought the Society was entitled to, surely it was worth the money to get this difficulty out of the way.
§ MR. AKERS-DOUGLAS
said no one grudged the money; what they objected to was the source from which it was taken.
§ MR. BUCHANAN
said there was nothing in the Report of the Committee to say that the Royal Society ought not to be housed at the expense of the Board of Manufactures, because that Society was housed in its present quarters at the expense of the accumulated funds of that Board. Provision was made for its accommodation and the whole expense of the Royal Institution buildings were paid for out of the accumulated funds of the Board of Manufactures. There was absolutely no reason why those funds should not boar part, if not the whole, of the necessary expense entailed by the housing of the Royal Society. He earnestly urged the Committee to accept this settlement so as to put the National Gallery of Scotland on a firm foundation, and thereby promote the study and advancement of fine art in that country.
§ MR. MUNRO FERGUSON
was quite prepared to accept the proposals of the Government, but not as a final settlement 875 of the question. He did not think these proposals satisfied the just claims of Scotland with respect to either art or science. Scotland was greatly in arrears in the matter of grants of public money. It had been stinted for the last twenty years, and when hon. Members made representations in favour of fresh expenditure the late Prime Minister used to remind them that he was a Scotsman, until he himself came to accept that as an intimation that some unparalleled injustice was going to be inflicted on his country. That was their experience of the way in which Scottish claims were met when the Tory Party were in power. He sympathised with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the St. Augustine's Division of Kent in his regret that the money was to be drawn from a reservoir which might have been used for another purpose. There were Scotsmen in the late Government, and except in regard to what was done by the noble Lord, who played a conspicuous part in the inquiry, he had never been able to detect that anything was done by the late Government for the advancement of science and art in Scotland. He did not rise for the purpose of indulging in Party recrimination, but he wished to point out, as a matter of fact, that they had these great arrears to make up in Scotland. He looked upon this as the first step, but he thought it was far from a final settlement.
§ *MR. SMEATON
moved as an Amendment to the Secretary for Scotland's Amendment to leave out "prescribed" and insert "decided upon by the Board of Trustees." He wished to get rid of the word "prescribed" which meant prescribed by the Secretary for Scotland. Even after the special pleading of the Lord Advocate he thought a perfectly clear case had been made out by the noble Lord in regard to what was called the general fund. That fund had been in the course of many years raised by savings of money which ought to have been devoted to the purchase of pictures. It was, as the noble Lord had shown, a Scottish Art fund, pure and simple, Although they were told that this Bill had nothing whatever to do with science, here was a proposal to insert words in the clause directing that money which belonged to the art of Scotland was to be allocated to science 876 and art in such sums as the Secretary for Scotland might prescribe. He thought the Board of Trustees ought to be left to decide as to the allocation of the fund. There might be other places in Scotland besides Edinburgh which desired and deserved encouragement in the foundation of art institutes. Why should they not get that encouragement? Edinburgh had not been prominently liberal in the past; it was certainly very inferior to Glasgow. The Board of Trustees would recognise where encouragement to art ought to be given. It seemed to him that the use of the fund ought to be made over entirely to the Board, and that on no account should any portion of the money which ought to have been spent years ago on the purchase of pictures be devoted to the equipment of buildings which had no connection with art. He disputed the right of the Secretary for Scotland thus arbitrarily to apportion to alien purposes money which ought to be devoted to the encouragement and development of Scottish Art.
§ Amendment proposed to the proposed Amendment—
§ "In line 2, to leave out the word "prescribed," and insert the words "decided upon by the Board of Trustees."—(Mr. Smeaton.)
§ Question proposed, "That the word proposed to be left out stand part of the proposed Amendment."
§ MR. SINCLAIR
asked his friend not to press the Amendment. He hoped he was not wrong in interpreting the general sense of the Committee as being in agreement with the proposals of the Bill The history of the Board of Manufactures made it clear that the Royal Society were occupying buildings to which those funds had contributed, and they were doing no more than applying the money to the purpose to which precisely it had hitherto been applied. The scheme of the Bill rested on an agreement between parties which had been arrived at only after considerable consultation with the various interests concerned. He was entirely in accord with what had been said as to its not being a final settlement, but at any rate they had taken the first step. None of these arrangements ever were final, and he hoped that the development of art and science in Scotland might be such as to 877 justify fresh demands on the Treasury. The development of science and art were greatly retarded at present by the conditions under which the Royal Society, the Royal Academy, and the National Gallery carried on their work, and it was in the interest of all the different bodies that the new arrangements which were contemplated should be introduced at the earliest possible moment.
§ *MR. MORTON
said the Amendment to the Amendment would give the new Board something to do and some control of their own affairs in their own house. What the Secretary for Scotland proposed was that the allocation of the fund should be done in a way hon. Members did not know anything at all about.
§ MR. SINCLAIR
The hon. Member is quite mistaken. This clause simply gives authority to carry out arrangements which I have already outlined to the Committee this afternoon.
§ *MR. MORTON
said his hon. friend's proposal was that the Board of Trustees should have power to say how the money was to be allocated. What the Secretary for Scotland proposed was that the allocation of the fund should be done in the way he prescribed. What he and his friends were endeavouring to do was to get an efficient, independent, and intelligent body to act as Board of Trustees.
§ *MR. SMEATON
asked leave to withdraw his Amendment, expressing the hope that some more equitable distribution of the money might be made.
§ Amendment to the proposed Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Main Question again proposed.
§ MR. C. E. PRICE
said he had taken an active part in the negotiations, and he congratulated the Secretary for Scotland on the arrangements he had made for housing the Royal Society. He also congratulated the right hon. Gentleman on securing from the Treasury a grant of £600 a year.
§ Question put, and agreed to.878
§ *MR. MORTON
moved that the property held in trust by the Board of Trustees should be applied towards the completion of the national monument on the Carlton Hill to serve as the National Gallery for Scotland. He thought the Carlton Hill would be a magnificent site, and he would be satisfied if he got an assurance that the Board of Trustees would have the right to consider the suggestion. He understood that the corporation of Edinburgh had spent a hundred guineas in circulating a handsome book on this subject, and that showed that they thought the matter worthy of consideration. If that site were selected, he believed there would be no difficulty in getting sufficient money from Scotsmen to supplement the Government grant in order to erect a building which would be worthy of Scotland and of the city of Edinburgh. He understood that the corporation of Edinburgh were willing to give a site on the Carlton hill. That would be a good beginning. He begged to move as a matter of form.
§ Amendment proposed—
§ "In page 3, to leave out lines 23 and 24, and insert the words 'towards the completion of the National Monument on the Carlton Hill to serve as the National Gallery for Scotland."—(Mr. Morton.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the clause."
§ MR. AKERS-DOUGLAS
said he could not agree with the Amendment, because he did not think on artistic grounds the National Memorial in Edinburgh suitable for a National Gallery. He was bound to say that he still adhered very strongly to the view of the Departmental Committee that there should, sooner or later, be secured in Edinburgh a National Gallery worthy of the nation. The Committee came to the conclusion that no alteration of the existing buildings would make a proper gallery for Scotland. It was pointed out to them that, situated as the present gallery was on the Mound, with the vibration of trains passing under it, and subject to the influence of smoke which was detrimental to oil paintings, they should hesitate permanently to house art treasures there. The Committee, however, recommended that the gallery might be 879 used for temporary exhibitions of pictures. The Committee came to the conclusion that the scheme as to the Royal Institution—though not an ideal one—might serve for a time: and that if carried out they would still have a crowded gallery and there would be no room for expansion. At any rate, the Treasury must not come to the conclusion that they had settled the question of a National Gallery for Scotland for all time. He only gave his personal view, but he had considerable connections with Scotland and knew Edinburgh well, and from his own observation he had come to the conclusion that the present site of the National Gallery and the Royal Institution was fatally objectionable for any proposed new National Gallery, even if a building suitable for it could be there erected. They ought to get away from the present site with its smoke from the railway, to another site on which a National Gallery could be erected that would be an honour and glory to the city of Edinburgh and worthy of the nation.
§ MR. SINCLAIR
said that all the Government put forward for this scheme was that it was practical, that it was suitable for the needs of time, and that it did not stand in the way of any larger development which might come hereafter. He could assure the hon. Member for Sutherland that if he brought forward his scheme at a future date it would by duly considered.
§ *MR. MORTON
said he was very glad to have had the able assistance of the right hon. Member for St. Augustine's. This was not a political matter. As he understood now, the trustees would have the power at a future time, not necessarily far off, to consider a new building on a new site.
§ MR. SINCLAIR
said that no doubt the Board would have full power to consider any proposal for a larger scheme which the hon. Member for Sutherland and his friends might came forward with sufficient funds to carry it out.
§ *MR. MORTON
said he hoped that the new body of trustees would be more patriotic than the Lord Advocate. He asked leave to withdraw his Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Clause 6, as amended, agreed to.