HL Deb 10 June 1887 vol 315 cc1577-8

, in rising to ask Her Majesty's Government, Whether it was intended to give permission to the subscribers to the statue of the late Earl of Iddesleigh, to place the statue in the Central Hall of the Palace of Westminster, or on one of the pedestals prepared for statues in the Lobby of the House of Commons? said, their Lordships and the Government had a responsibility for preventing interference with the architectural character and harmony of the building. A statue of the late Earl of Iddesleigh they would all be glad to see in a proper place; but if it were placed in the Central Hall it would detract from the architectural features of that Hall for which it was so much admired. There were in the Hall 48 pedestals, and on them 48 statues in proper form, dignified by crowns and surrounded by mediaeval decorations. The statue of Earl Russell seemed to have dropped down accidentally into a place not intended to receive it. The son of Sir Charles Barry had written a letter in which he said that his father would have objected to the statue of Earl Russell in its present position as out of character with the Hall and a blot upon that part of the building. In the Commons Lobby there were eight pedestals which Sir Charles Barry left to be occupied by statues. Why should not the statue of the Earl of Iddesleigh be placed upon one of those pedestals where it would be in harmony with the surroundings? The only reason he had heard for placing the statue in the Central Hall was that that Hall was more open to the public than the Commons Lobby. Many of the great works of art in that building were not open ordinarily to the public. A matter of this kind ought not to be left to an official like the Lord Chamberlain, but it was a matter upon which the Government and Parliament ought to express an opinion.


said he could not give the noble Lord an answer to his Question, because if he did so he should be exceeding his duty as representing the Office of Works in that House. The question was one that rested entirely in the hands of the Lord Great Chamberlain; and, therefore, it would not be right on his part to discuss whether it should remain in his hands or in the hands of the Board of Works, or any other authority, although it was undoubtedly one of great interest, and they were indebted to the noble Lord for bringing it before them.

House adjourned at half past Six o'clock, to Monday next, a quarter before Eleven o'clock.