HC Deb 17 December 1925 vol 189 cc1622-4
Sir MARTIN CONWAY (by Private Notice)

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Home Affairs, as representing the First Commissioner of Works, whether, in view of the approaching completion of the mosaics in St. Stephen's Hall, there is any probability of carrying to completion the general decoration of the hall, which, it is understood, has been under consideration?

Captain HACKING (for

I am glad to be able to inform my hon. Friend that, thanks to the generosity of a number of Parliamentarians, a scheme is well under way for the decoration of St. Stephen's Hall by a series of paintings of scenes in British history. Eight artists, under the leadership of Sir David Cameron, R.A., are now preparing sketches of the pictures which will eventually be placed in the panels of the hall. The subjects of these have been selected by Sir Henry Newbolt, in consultation with the painters, and with the approval of the First Commissioner, the Chairman of the Royal Fine Art Commission and the Speaker, to whom the preliminary sketches will shortly be submitted.


If it is not premature, could my hon. and gallant Friend give us the names of the artists whom it is proposed to employ, and can he give any idea of the time the work would take before it is completed?


It is hoped that the scheme will be completed in rather more than 12 months. With regard to the artists, their names are, Mr. Clausen, Mr. Sims, Mr. Glyn Philpot, Mr. W. Rothenstein, Mr. Lawrence, Mr. Colin Gill, Sir W. Orpen and Mr. Vivian Forbes. It must be to the general convenience of the House if further details in connection with this scheme were either handed to the Press or published in the OFFICIAL REPORT.


Is it intended to submit the works of these artists to the critics who have been visiting Hyde Park?

Captain BENN

Would it be necessary to remove any of the existing pictures?


Yes, there are two pictures at present in the panels of the Hall which will have to be removed to another part of the building.

Captain BENN

In doing that, will the hon. and gallant Gentleman consider placing the picture of the Five Members at the top of the staircase leading to the Terrace, for which Mr. Seymour Lucas originally painted it?


That will be considered.


Did the hon. and gallant Gentleman advise these artists to spend their time among Durham miners, among whom there is so much unemployment, before painting the pictures?