HC Deb 10 March 1947 vol 434 cc925-6
1. Mr. Wilson Harris

asked the Minister of Works what is the present location and future destiny of the statue of King James II which formerly stood behind the Admiralty.

The Minister of Works (Mr. Key)

The statue of King James II is at present in store to which it was removed for safety during the war. The choice of a new site for this statue is under consideration.

Mr. Harris

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider establishing this despicable Sovereign in St. James's Square, where he will have the facility of contemplating his successor, William of Orange?

Mr. Godfrey Nicholson

Is it not a fact that this Sovereign did a great deal for His Majesty's Navy, and that that should never be forgotten?

Sir Ronald Ross

Will the Minister consider retaining the statue of this Monarch in storage, despite his services to the Navy, as he had some rather dubious achievements later on?

Mr. Derek Walker-Smith

Will the Minister consider Parliament Square as a more appropriate site in order that Ministers may have a daily reminder of the fate that overtakes those who try to fetter the rights and still the voice of Parliament?

2. Mr. Wilson Harris

asked the Minister of Works whether he will take steps to repair the fingers of the statue of Mr. Selden in St. Stephen's Hall.

Mr. Key

Yes, Sir. This statue, in common with others which have suffered damage, will be repaired as soon as possible.

Mr. Harris

Is the Minister aware of the pleasure his reply will give to many sensitive minds?

3. Mr. Wilson Harris

asked the Minister of Works whether he will take steps to erect a statue of King James I in the vicinity of Whitehall.

Mr. Key

No, Sir.

Mr. Harris

Will the Minister reconsider that very arbitrary reply? Is he aware that this Monarch conferred two inestimable benefits on his country, firstly, university representation in this House, and, secondly, the Authorised Version of the Bible? Does he not think these are worthy of commemoration?

Mr. Key

There are many other omissions from statuary in this country.

Mr. Nicholson

Is it not clear that London's statues give great pleasure to the "Spectator"?

Mr. Berry

Will the Minister bear in mind that this Monarch is best remembered by his absurd pamphlet against the smoking of tobacco?

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Will the right hon. Gentleman also bear in mind that this excellent Sovereign executed the man who introduced that filthy weed?

Mr. Key

All I can say is that I am learning a lot of strange history.