HL Deb 20 May 1867 vol 187 cc765-7

asked Her Majesty's Government, What arrangement had been made with respect to New Palace Yard and the Roads round the Houses of Parliament? It had been considered by competent judges that a broad thoroughfare from Victoria Street to Westminster Bridge would have formed one of the finest streets in the metropolis; but it appeared that according to the present arrangements the thoroughfare instead of being straight would be angular, and inconvenient in every respect. He believed that the arrangement was still capable of correction, and he wished to know whether the Government would submit the plans to Parliament and the public, in order that an opinion might be expressed with respect to them? Another point to which he desired to call attention was the removal of Canning's statue, which, at the time when a subscription was raised for its erection, it was thought proper to place near the scene of that statesman's struggles, triumphs, and glories. The intention now was, he believed, that the statue should be removed to a small garden near Great George Street, where it would be completely hidden by the trees and shrubs. He was told that the statue had been shunted to suit the convenience of an underground railway. He did not see how a statue placed above ground could interfere with a railway underground. He thought that the statue, of such a statesman should not be removed from the site where it had been saluted by the passers by for forty years without some good reason.


said, that in the matter referred to the present Government were merely carrying out the plans of their predecessors, for which a Vote had been taken in the other House of Parliament. He did not see that those plans when carried out would interfere with the approaches to Westminster Bridge. At present, persons passing from Victoria Street to the Houses of Parliament had to go along two sides of a triangle, and that inconvenience would be obviated by the alterations now being made. The new street would have a broad footway, and at one end would stand Canning's statue, in a most conspicuous position, and at the other the statue of the late Sir Robert Peel. Both would be quite as open to public observation as Canning's statue hitherto had been. He believed that the alteration would not only effect a great convenience, but would also be a great public improvement, and it was absolutely impossible now to make any alterations in plans which had already received the sanction of Parliament.


said, he could not understand how it would be possible to make a straight street from Victoria Street to Westminster Bridge.