HC Deb 04 March 1958 vol 583 cc946-7
12. Sir H. Kerr

asked the Minister of Works whether he is yet in a position to make a statement regarding the erection of a statue to Sir Walter Raleigh in London in commemoration of the 350th anniversary of the foundation of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Mr. Molson

Yes, Sir. A bronze statue of Sir Walter Raleigh is to be erected in front of the National Gallery in the position at present occupied by the statue of James II which will be moved to the lawn in front of the Foreign Office facing St. James's Park.

The statue of Raleigh is being provided by a group which has commissioned Mr. William McMillan as the sculptor. I am sure the House will wish to join me in paying tribute to the public spirit of this group for its imaginative gift.

Sir H. Kerr

Is my right hon. Friend aware that his announcement will cause the greatest pleasure, both in Virginia and in this country?

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Is the Minister aware that the Stuarts have already been insulted enough by this Government? Is this another?

Sir A. Gomme-Duncan

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this man Raleigh introduced the abominable habit of tobacco-smoking into this country? Would it not be much better to erect a statue of James VI and I, who cut his head off?

Mr. Molson

As a non-smoker, I have a good deal of sympathy with what my hon. and gallant Friend has said, but Raleigh was a most interesting character and also, I believe, he introduced the potato.