HC Deb 08 November 1955 vol 545 cc1644-5
33. Mr. Hyde

asked the Minister of Works why the portrait, after Sir Thomas Lawrence, presented by the late Marquess of Londonderry of his ancestor, Lord Castlereagh, Foreign Minister from 1812 to 1822, has been sent to Her Majesty's Embassy in Montevideo.

Mr. Birch

This portrait was sent to Montevideo in 1953 at the request of the then Ambassador.

Mr. Hyde

is my right hon. Friend aware that the Ambassador seems to have made a mistake and was confusing this portrait with the portrait of Castlereagh's successor in office, George Canning, who boasted that he had called the New World into existence to redress the balance of the Old? Would not Vienna, with which Castlereagh's name is associated by reason of the Congress, be a more suitable place for this portrait?

Mr. Birch

I understand that the portrait has been very well received in Montevideo. The great Lord Castlereagh has been dead for some time.

Mr. Anthony Greenwood

In view of the fact that Lord Castlereagh had to spend £60,000 to get into Parliament and procured the union of England and Ireland by methods which were far from scrupulous and lived to be by far the most unpopular Cabinet Minister in history, does not the Minister appreciate that many of us have no very strong objection to his posthumous banishment to Montevideo?

Mr. Birch

I cannot be held to agree with the hon. Member's view of Lord Castlereagh.