HC Deb 28 June 1926 vol 197 cc797-9

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, as representing the First Commissioner of Works, whether steps can be taken to open to the public Henry VIII's Newe Wyne Seller at Hampton Court, having regard to the small expense entailed in clearing away a partition which at present blocks the cellar, the cost of which could easily be recouped out of the fees charged for entrance to Henry VIII's great kitchen, or, if necessary, a small additional fee could be charged to cover the expense of opening the Newe Wyne Seller?


The First Commissioner is desirous of opening the cellar to the public, but he regrets that owing to the need for economy in expenditure there are not sufficient funds available on the Vote for Royal Palaces to enable the necessary work to be done during the present financial year. Appropriations-in-Aid cannot he used to meet expenditure.


Is it not a fact that the recent opening of the kitchen of Henry VIII at Hampton Court has resulted in the receipt to the National Exchequer of something like £600 or £700, and does he not think he might anticipate something similar if this wine cellar, which is of even greater interest, was opened to the public, it being one of the finest examples of Tudor architecture in the Palace?


Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that the miners do not want this new wine cellar opened?


It might satisfy the hon. Member to know that there is no wine in the cellar at present. As far as my hon. Friend is concerned, there is no doubt we might recoup an amount of money after a certain time.. It is true the opening of the kitchen has resulted in funds being accumulated, but there will be an immediate coat of £315. We might get some money in future, but it would not remove the financial position at the moment.


Will not that risk always obtain? Might not the Department, having seen the great profit made and the appreciation shown by the public of the opening of the kitchen, very well run the risk of opening the wine cellar without any charge?


The Estimate has been passed.