HL Deb 18 May 1876 vol 229 cc915-7

, having recapitulated the statements and suggestions contained in a letter written by him, and recently published in The Times newspaper, asked Her Majesty's Government, Whether they intend to adhere to the plan of Knightsbridge Barracks now on view in the Tea Room of the House of Commons, and whether tenders have been accepted for the works?


in reply, said, that it was not intended to make any material alterations in the plans referred to by the noble Viscount. No tenders had been accepted, because none would be asked for until the Vote had passed. He might, he thought, be allowed to say that the authorities at the War Office were as anxious as the noble Viscount to make the newly-constructed barracks completely efficient in a sanitary as well as a military point of view. The old officers' quarters were to be renovated and an entirely new wing built, which would contain a mess-room, billiard-room, &c., and officers' quarters over them. The important point was the question of money. It was the opinion of the architect that if this new wing were added the old quarters might be made as good as could be desired; but if the course suggested by the noble Viscount were pursued, and they were entirely to pull down the old officers' quarters and the old riding school, and rebuild them on the sites pointed out by his noble Friend, an extra cost would be caused of at least £15,000, and such an expenditure the Secretary of State did not feel inclined to incur. The noble Viscount was very right in objecting to the married men being compelled to live in the disreputable slums in the neighbourhood; and admirable provision had been made for the married men in the new barracks, so that room would be found for all except 20. If the present officers' quarters were pulled down and a new building erected further west, we should be erecting a structure in front of houses which at present had an unintercepted view of the Park; and this might create a difficulty and arouse opposition from the inhabitants of those houses. The owners of house property in that neighbourhood had already shown themselves somewhat difficult to deal with. As to the sanitary condition of the barracks, the Inspector General of the Medical Department had reported that it was satisfactory.


drew attention to a letter written by Sir Henry Cole, pointing out the advantages of a site about 100 yards to the north of the present barracks, and added that for his own part he had no wish to raise any opposition to the Government in this matter, and merely desired that it should be settled in a manner pleasing not only to the inhabitants of Knightsbridge, but to everybody interested in the question, which was one not solely of local importance, but affecting London in an art sense to a considerable degree.


remarked that as there were only one or two Bills, of no great importance, and unlikely to lead to discussion, down for to-morrow night, it might be convenient to their Lordships that the House should adjourn to-morrow afternoon, after the appeals had been heard at 4 o'clock, until Monday.

House adjourned at a quarter before Six o'clock, till To-morrow, half past Ten o'clock.