§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £436,570, be granted to His Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1914, in respect of sundry Public Buildings in Great Britain, not provided for on other Votes." [Note.—£330,000 has been voted on account.]
§ Lord A. THYNNE
This Vote includes certain money, part of which is to be spent on the approach to the Admiralty Arch, and I should like an assurance from the hon. Member that, before any decision is 685 taken with regard to the treatment of the approach, he will see that the precedent established in the case of the Quadrant, in Regent Street, is followed, and that an expert Committee—I do not like to call it a Committee of Taste—is called in to advise with regard to the alternative plans for dealing with the approach. Various expert architects have put forward four alternative methods of dealing with this approach. It is a technical question which it would be very difficult for any municipal or lay authority to decide, and I submit that it would be very wise for the Office of Works, before they make any contribution, to seek the advice of a Committee constituted somewhat similarly to the Committee which they invoked in the case of the Quadrant in Regent Street.
I have been searching the Vote, and I cannot see where that question comes in. It appears to me that it should be taken on the next Vote, so far as it is under the control of the First Commissioner.
§ Lord A. THYNNE
I submit that it is possible part of Item 14, £12,225 for urgent and unforeseen works and works and alterations of a minor character will be devoted to this purpose, but in any case it will perhaps be convenient if the hon. Member will give me the assurance now, and I will not raise the matter at a later stage.
I think not. I am afraid, if a contribution were made by the Government for this purpose, that it would be necessary to have a Supplementary Estimate. I do not think there is any provision in this Estimate, though the matter might possibly be in order if raised on the salary of the First Commissioner.
It appears to me that it had better not be taken on this Vote; but on the next Vote, in so far as the First Commissioner has any authority, it would be in order.
§ Lord A. THYNNE
I submitted it as a matter of convenience. There is very little probability of our reaching Vote 26 to-night.
§ Sir J. D. REES
I want to ask about the Vote for the work of adaptation in 686 connection with the School of Oriental Languages. There is a sum of £1,000 asked for out of a total expenditure of £20,000. This matter has been going on since 1906. I want the hon. Gentleman to tell me what we are waiting for, and whether, meanwhile, arrangements have been made to carry on the school in the existing building of the London Institution?
There was an Act passed last Session requiring that the London Institution Building should be adapted for the School of Oriental Languages. Unfortunately the constitution of the governing body of that school has not yet been completed, and we do not even know who is to judge what alterations will have to be made. We have, therefore, put down £1,000 in the hope of being able to spend that sum during the year, with a view to going forward with the work.
§ Mr. BOYTON
Where shall I find the item of £20,000 for rent for the Land Valuation Offices? The Chancellor of the Exchequer told me it was in one of these Votes. I have been looking for it without success. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman can enlighten me.
I have met with no better success. I should advise the hon. Gentleman to take some other opportunity of raising the point and let us get this Vote.
§ Mr. MORTON
I want some more information with regard to this London Institution. If we vote this £1,000 I take it we are practically bound to spend £20,000, but we have no information what it is proposed to do, and I think we ought to have it before we commit ourselves to this expenditure. Will my hon. Friend tell me what he is going to do with this £1,000? If there is no settled policy the item should not be on the Votes at all.
It is intended by putting down this item to commit the House to an expenditure on the School for Oriental Languages. I am sorry I cannot put down more than £1,000.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I beg to move, to reduce the Vote by £1,000.
I think this £1,000 ought not to be voted for the reason advanced by the hon. Member opposite (Mr. Morton). I see the total Estimate is £20,000, and there is a star against it explaining that it is a provisional Estimate. We are asked to vote for this year £1,000 only. But the hon. Member in charge of the Vote has told us that the constitution of this institution is not settled and, therefore, he does not know what is going to happen. Why then should he put down the provisional Estimate of £20,000, and why should he hope to spend £1,000 this year? He seems quite pleased with the idea that he may be able to do that. I do not want him to spend that sum, especially as I do not know to what we shall commit ourselves by voting it. When my hon. Friend, the Member for Sutherland, asked him should we commit ourselves to the expenditure of £20,000 the hon. Gentleman said, "No, we are committed to an expenditure of some sum," and he has just put forward this £1,000 in order to get sanction for the whole work. We do not know whether those alterations will cost more or less than £20,000, and it may be that next year we shall be told that the expenditure will amount to £150,000. If ever there was a justification for moving a reduction of a Vote there is one on this occasion.
§ Mr. MORTON
I should like to press my hon. Friend to give us some information as to what he is going to do with this £1,000. I know something about the City of London, and I know there is a mystery in connection with the taking over of this London Institution. A good many of us cannot understand it. We are now asked to vote £1,000 to be spent on we do not know what. It may be cocked hats. I trust my hon. Friend will vouchsafe the information I ask for. I want to know what this £1,000 is for.
It would be of great advantage from the point of view of the Department I represent if we could get to Vote 26 as soon as possible, because I should very much like to deal with the Estimates submitted and the recommendations, many of which have been carried out. The answer to my hon. Friend is that the London Institution, having more or less failed 688 to carry out the purpose for which it had been carried on for about 100 years, was wound up by Act of Parliament last year, and the buildings were handed over for the purposes of a school of Oriental languages. This school would be in the City, because that is the most convenient place to teach people Oriental languages. It is a commercial school for teaching all sorts of clerks, commercial travellers, and other people who are going out to the East, as well as missionaries and doctors, and other people of that kind. We do not want to have to wait until next year's Estimates are passed before we get on with this very necessary public work, therefore we ask for £1,000, so that when the body is constituted we may go ahead with the work.
Adapting the building. The school is at present a sort of library and lecture hall. We have to adapt it to the purposes of a school. We ask for £1,000, and if next year Parliament does not wish to go on with the work, hon. Members can say, notwithstanding the Provisional Estimate for 1913–14, that they do not desire to go on with the work.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
The hon. Gentleman has really given the whole of his case away. My hon. Friend (Sir J. D. Rees) is very keen on Oriental languages being taught in the best possible centre, the City of London, but supposing this Vote is rejected it will not prevent Oriental languages being taught in the best possible place. The hon. Gentleman says he is not going to do anything with the £1,000, but is going to wait for another year before he does anything. During the year that is to intervene he is going to settle the constitution of this body. Nobody pretends that this £1,000 is going to do anything. You are not going to teach Oriental languages, even in the City of London, for £1,000. If my Amendment is carried the result will be that during the year that is to elapse the hon. Gentleman will have an opportunity of settling the constitution of this body, and men coming down with a well-developed and considered plan and saying. "I want £20,000, £30,000, or £40,000," and no doubt the House will give it. The idea of taking the £1,000 now—it can be of no use whatever—is to enable the hon. Gentleman to come down next year and say, "You have already authorised this expense which you knew nothing about"—
§ Mr. WHITEHOUSE
On a point of Order, is it the function of the Office of Works to settle the curriculum of a school?
I do not think anyone imagines that the hon. Gentleman, in his many capacities, would go so far as that. We are dealing with a proposal to vote £1,000 for beginning the adaptation of a building for a new purpose.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I was only answering the argument of the hon. Gentleman. He did not himself know what the constitution of this body was going to be. He gives that as a reason for only asking for £1,000, and I was answering that point. I was in no way exceeding the proper course of procedure in debate, and I never suggested what the curriculum was going to be. I do not know anything about the curriculum of Oriental languages, and I do not want to. The House must not fall into the error which some hon. Members were evidently going to do, that by refusing this Grant of £1,000 we should be in any way impeding the future of this body. All we should be doing would be to postpone for a year the expenditure of £1,000, which is only a twentieth part of the sum required, and which would have given the hon. Gentleman the opportunity of bringing his Estimate in in a businesslike manner.
§ Colonel YATE
I would appeal to any hon. Friend not to postpone this work for a year. I have been associated with it a good deal all through. For several years we have been trying to get this school. The Prime Minister has now sanctioned it and made all these arrangements, and the school has been handed over, and if it is delayed for another year over a technical point it will be a great pity. I trust it may not be delayed any more.
§ being wrong as it is possible for him to do. Really in his zeal for financial purity, which I most thoroughly share, he has rather overlooked the fact that this provision is for something purely structural. I know the building, and it is perfectly unfitted now for the purpose of a school for Oriental languages. If this Vote is now postponed it will really affect the question, because there will be no money available for making the structural alterations, which are a necessary preliminary to setting these classes going. It is a reproach to this great capital of the Empire that they should not exist, and I appeal to my hon. Friend to let this £1,000 go, and, with his ingenuity, he will have no difficulty whatever in moving a reduction.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I really think I must be unable to explain myself. What can my hon. Friend do with a building in Finsbury Circus with £1,000? He cannot even paint and whitewash it.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
It may be that the proper course is to sell the building in Finsbury Circus, and with the large sum that it will produce acquire a site in another part of London equally convenient and less expensive.
What I said was that the method of settling tenders could be discussed better on the next Vote.
§ Question put, "That a sum not exceeding £435,570 be granted for the said Service."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 25; Noes, 181.691
|Division No. 24.]||AYES.||[10.28 p.m.|
|Bathurst, Charles (Wilts, Wilton)||Dickson, Rt. Hon. C. Scott||Pollock, Ernest Murray|
|Benn, Ion Hamilton (Greenwich)||Fell, Arthur||Rutherford, Watson (L'pool, W. Derby)|
|Bennett-Goldney, Francis||Gilmour, Captain John||Sanders, Robert Arthur|
|Boyton, James||Goldsmith, Frank||Thynne, Lord Alexander|
|Carlile, Sir Edward Hildred||Grant, J. A.||Touche, George Alexander|
|Cassel, Felix||Hope, Major J. A. (Midlothian)||Wood, John (Stalybridge)|
|Cautley, H. S.||Locker-Lampoon, G. (Salisbury)|
|Chaloner, Colonel R. G. W.||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Sir F. Banbury and Mr. Arnold Ward.|
|Courthope, G. Loyd||Perkins, Walter|
|Abraham, William (Dublin, Harbour)||Addison, Dr. Christopher||Baring, Sir Godfrey (Barnstaple)|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Allen, Rt. Hon. Charles P. (Stroud)||Barlow, Montague (Salford, South)|
|Adamson, William||Baker, Joseph Allen (Finsbury, E.)||Barton, W.|
|Beauchamp, Sir Edward||Havelock-Allan, Sir Henry||O'Neill, Dr. Charles (Armagh, S.)|
|Benn, W. W. (T. Hamlets, St. Geo.)||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Bentham, G. J.||Hayward, Evan||O'Shee, James John|
|Booth, Frederick Handel||Hazleton, Richard||O'Sullivan, Timothy|
|Bowerman, C. W.||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Boyle, D. (Mayo, N.)||Higham, John Sharp||Parry, Thomas H.|
|Brady, P. J.||Hinds, John||Phillips, John (Longford, S.)|
|Brunner, John F. L.||Hodge, John||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Bryce, J. Annan||Hogge, James Myles||Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)|
|Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Holmes, Daniel Turner||Pringle, William M. R.|
|Buxton, Noel (Norfolk, North)||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Radford, G. H.|
|Buxton, Rt. Hon. Sidney C. (Poplar)||Hudson, Walter||Raffan, Peter Wilson|
|Carr-Gomm, H. W.||Hughes, S. L.||Reddy, M.|
|Cawley, Sir Frederick (Prestwich)||Isaacs, Rt. Hon. Sir Rufus||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Chancellor, H. G.||Jones, Edgar (Merthyr Tydvil)||Rees, Sir J. D.|
|Chapple, Dr. William Allen||Jones, J. Towyn (Carmarthen, East)||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Jones, Leif Stratten (Notts, Rushcliffe)||Richardson, Albion (Peckham)|
|Clough, William||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.||Jowett, Frederick William||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Cotton, William Francis||Joyce, Michael||Robinson, Sidney|
|Crooks, William||Keating, Matthew||Roch, Walter F.|
|Crumley, Patrick||Kellaway, Frederick George||Roche, Augustine (Louth)|
|Davies, David (Montgomery Co.)||Kelly, Edward||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Davies, Timothy (Lincs., Louth)||Kilbride, Denis||Rose, Sir Charles Day|
|Dawes, James Arthur||King, J.||Rowlands, James|
|Delany, William||Lambert, Richard (Wilts, Cricklade)||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Denman, Hon. Richard Douglas||Lardner, James C. R.||Scanlan, Thomas|
|Denniss, E. R. B.||Law, Hugh A, (Donegal, West)||Schwann, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles E.|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumb'rld, Cockerm'th)||Sheehy, David|
|Doris, W.||Levy, Sir Maurice||Sherwell, Arthur James|
|Duffy, William J.||Lundon, Thomas||Smith, Albert (Lancs., Clitheroe)|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness)||Lyell, Charles Henry||Smyth, Thomas F.|
|Duncan, J. Hastings (Yorks, Otley)||Lynch, A. A.||Stewart, Gershom|
|Esmonde, Dr. John (Tipperary, N.)||Maclean, Donald||Sutton, John E.|
|Essex, Sir Richard Walter||Macnamara, Rt. Hon. Dr. T. J.||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Esslemont, George Birnie||MacNeill, J. G. Swift (Donegal, South)||Taylor, Thomas (Bolton)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||M'Callum, Sir John M.||Thomas. J. H.|
|Fenwick, Rt. Hon. Charles||McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald||Toulmin, Sir George|
|Ffrench, Peter||Marks, Sir George Croydon||Verney, Sir Harry|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Marshall, Arhur Harold||Wadsworth, J.|
|George, Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd||Masterman, Rt. Hon. C. F. G.||Walsh, Stephen (Lancs., Ince)|
|Gill, A. H.||Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.)||Wardle, George J.|
|Gladstone, W. G. C.||Millar, James Duncan||Watt, Henry A.|
|Glanville, Harold James||Molloy, M.||White, J. Dundas (Glasgow, Tradeston)|
|Goldstone, Frank||Molteno, Percy Alport||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Greig, Colonel J. W.||Morgan, George Hay||Whitehouse, John Howard|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Morison, Hector||Whittaker, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas|
|Guest, Hon. Frederick E. (Dorset, E.)||Muldoon, John||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Gwynn, Stephen Lucius (Galway)||Munro, R.||Williams, Penry (Middlesbrough)|
|Hackett, J.||Murray, Captain Hon. A. C.||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Hall, Frederick (Dulwich)||Needham, Christopher T.||Wing, Thomas|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. H. L. (Rossendale)||Norman, Sir Henry||Yate, Colonel Charles Edward|
|Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose)||Nuttall, Harry||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Harmsworth, Cecil (Luton, Beds)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Young, W. (Perth, E.)|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Yoxall, Sir James Henry|
|Harvey, T. E. (Leeds, West)||O'Doherty, Philip|
|Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.)||O'Donnell, Thomas||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—Mr. Illingworth and Mr. Gulland.|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||O'Malley, William|
Original Question put, and agreed to.
§ Original Question again proposed.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
There are certain items of which I desire to get some explanation. On page 49, there is "Acquisition of interests in certain properties under Public Offices." The total estimate is 692 £60,000. There is a star against it, "Provisional Estimate." Why is it not possible to give a more accurate Estimate? Then we have Public Trustee and Lunacy Department, £85,000. The revised Estimate is £113,000. A footnote says, "This was a provisional Estimate and did not include removals and furniture." What removals would cost such a large additional sum, and how could the furniture for a building which is only to cost £85,000 cost £28,000? This new building on a leased site is to cost £149,000. I am glad the Chancellor of the Exchequer is here, and I appeal to him with regard to the expenditure of £149,000 for erecting a building on a leased site, that we ought to have some thorough explanation. Then in con- 693 nection with the National Gallery there are some extremely funny items. There are two revised Estimates, amounting to £59,400 and £27,800; in fact the whole of this list consists of original Estimates, which in no way compare with the revised total Estimates. I should like to have some reason for the enormous differences. On page 50 there is something which is the other way. It refers to the Bristol Probate Registry, for which the original total Estimate was £4,000, and the revised Estimate is £2,500. It is a step in the right direction, but a very small one. I should like some explanation of the discrepancies to which I have referred, including the expenditure of £149,000 for a building on a leased site.
In regard to the question of the hon. Baronet as to public offices, the answer is that an arbitration is going on about the price of the land, and obviously we must put in a figure which will cover everything; otherwise we would be giving a hint to the other side. In regard to the Public Trustee and Lunacy Departments, the increased Estimate is because the Public Trustee Department is growing very rapidly, and possibly housing accommodation will be required in connection with the rearrangements. At any rate, in view of the rapid growth of this Department, proper foresight suggests the making of provision to meet that growth. The Lunacy Commissioners are at present accommodated partly at the Law Courts and partly in hired offices. As to the £149,000 for the Stationery Offices, they are being removed from an expensive site to a cheaper site on the Duchy of Cornwall estate in Lambeth. The length of the lease is 200 years.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
I am glad of the long lease, but why combine the Public Trustee and the Lunacy Commissioners? I cannot see what connection there is between the two.
§ Sir F. BANBURY
To mix up the Public Trustee with lunacy is the most absurd answer I ever heard of.