HL Deb 21 June 1855 vol 138 cc2293-4

referring to an answer given by him on a former evening to a question put to him on the subject of an offer recently made to the Government to build new public offices on certain terms, said that, though it had been very far from his intention to cast any slur on any one, yet he understood that a gentleman concerned in the offer had felt himself aggrieved by the terms he had used with regard to the amount of security required from the parties by the Government. He had, therefore, great pleasure in reading the following letter, which he had received from his right hon. Friend the First Commissioner of Works on the subject— My Dear Lord Granville—When Mr. Stapleton had an interview with me on the subject, I did not ask him what pecuniary 'security' he could give for the execution of his scheme, but took time to consider the principle of his proposal. On reflection I came to the conclusion that the principle was one which ought not to be sanctioned by a Government, that it would be no saving of expense to the Government, and that the Government would have better security for the due execution of the works required, by performing them, than by contracting with gentlemen who wished to engage in this speculation. Yours truly, WILLIAM MOLESWORTH. Office of Works, June 6th.


thought that the Government had overlooked the two great advantages contained in this offer—the certainty of the time when the offices would he finished, and the certainty of the sum which they would cost.


hoped that, if ever this plan of bringing all the public offices under one roof were adopted, the Government would not forget that one roof might be burnt at one time. No adequate precautions had been taken against that danger in the long galleries of that House, and if ever a fire did get possession of one of those galleries it would be perfectly impossible to get it under. The proper principle would be to build separate blocks of buildings, communicating with each other by means of bridges.


pointed out the great convenience of setting aside a separate chamber for the transaction of the judicial business of the House.

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