§ Royal Fine Art Commission, 6, Burlington Gardens, W. 1. February 27th, 1930
§ 1. I am directed to recall for the information of the House of Lords Offices Committee, that on the 28th of November, 1927, the Lord Great Chamberlain requested the Royal Fine Art Commission to express an opinion on an offer made by the late Earl of Iveagh to complete the decoration of the Royal Gallery of the House of Lords. The Royal Commission enquired if they could inspect sketch designs or a specimen cartoon, and also whether any contract or undertaking existed with the painter, and what instructions (if any) had been given to him.
§ 2. As no information was received after the lapse of several weeks, the Royal Fine Art Commission wrote, towards the end of January, 1928, to the First Commissioner of His Majesty's Works stating that they were unable to report. They added that they had been much embarrassed by having had to give opinions on three different occasions about the Royal Gallery. Firstly, as to the relation of the Peer's War Memorial to the statues flanking its recess, then as to a new system of lighting from the roof, and finally on the proposed position of the names of the deceased. On all these occasions the Commission had to take into account a scheme of mural decoration of which no details were available.
§ 3. The Commission advised that any scheme of painting should be closely studied in connection with the proposed marble War Memorial, and with the two great pictures of Trafalgar and Waterloo by Maclise. The architectural lines of the Royal Gallery are 1198 so consistent and its scheme of decoration so homogeneous, that alterations or additions should be considered in a comprehensive manner, and not as successive and isolated details. The Commission pointed out that piecemeal advice given in such circumstances might prove very misleading in relation to other aspects of the problem.
§ 4. When, in March, 1928, the Select Committee of the House of Lords Offices resolved that the design for the decoration of the Royal Gallery be submitted to the Royal Fine Art Commission forthwith, the Earl of Crawford and Balcarres assured the House of Lords that when the necessary data for forming a judgment became available, the Royal Commission would give the matter most careful attention and make known their views to the Lord Chairman of the Offices Committee at the earliest possible moment.
§ 5. The Commission have examined the five paintings now placed in the Royal Gallery. It is understood that the complete series will consist of three very large cartoons at either end of the Gallery above the frieze, and of ten large ones on the lower level. The pictures already hanging have been inspected both by natural and artificial light, and the Commission beg leave to submit their observations.
§ 6. They have considered the whole problem of the paintings in relation to their setting and environment. The Royal Gallery is also known as the Waterloo Chamber and derives its second name from the great historical fresco by Daniel Maclise, who also painted the pendant picture of the death of Nelson. These two paintings, each of them 45 feet long, present the dominant theme of the Gallery. Furthermore it has been decided to erect the Peers' War Memorial in the recess at the southern end of the Gallery. The Commissioners fear that Mr. Brangwyn's paintings will not harmonise with their surroundings. While his paintings are brilliant in colouring, fertile in invention and full of fancy in their luxuriant variety and treatment, their insistent motives ill accord with the Waterloo Chamber; the large paintings of tropical flora and fauna flanking the War Memorial and the historic cartoons would appear inappropriate.
§ 7. In fact the new paintings are so emphatic as to require that all their surroundings shall be brought into subordination. It is consequently proposed to adapt the Royal Gallery to the pictures. The ceiling is to be re-coloured. The carved oak panelling is to be amplified by painted heraldic shields; paint and gilding are to be removed from stonework and statues. A complete transformation of the Royal Gallery is in contemplation.
§ 8. The Royal Commission are well aware that the Palace of Westminster differs widely from the style and decorative methods of our own day, and that it is often disparaged as lacking originality. It nevertheless remains a remarkable achievement, being the most pronounced example of the Gothic Revival, and is thus the chief monument of an important phase in the development of British 1199 architecture. It was designed with confidence and was carried through with decision, and is now substantially as left by Barry and Pugin, its rapid construction having resulted in a unity of execution seldom found in a building of such size and importance. It equally bears witness to the honesty and perfection of British craftsmanship.
§ 9. The Royal Gallery is the scene of State ceremonial and International conference; but it is also an integral part of a suite of great apartments, to which it is scrupulously related in character, namely to the adjacent Royal Staircase and Porch, to the King's Robing Room, the Prince's Chamber, and the House of Lords. All alike would be thrown into confusion by so abrupt a transition in the scale and nature of decoration. Moreover, the general tone of the Gallery and its neighbouring apartments is in keeping with that of the Palace as a whole, and this is also true of the existing paintings. In the House of Commons, whether the medium be canvas, fresco, mosaic, sculpture or stained glass, the central theme is the statesmanship and government of Britain and the Empire. It may here be observed that Mr. Brangwyn's paintings of oriental processions and exotic scenery, indicate no connection with the Empire as such; nor does the subject-matter or its treatment suggest any degree of relation to Imperial or Dominion Parliaments.
§ 10. While the Royal Commission are unable for the foregoing reasons to recommend the erection of the paintings in the Royal Gallery, the Commissioners are conscious of the value of the paintings in themselves, both as commanding respect for an accomplishment of exceptional scale, and likewise as being notable for ingenuity and resource. They do not think, however, that these pictures can possibly do adequate justice to their own merits in the Royal Gallery, where at best they must be grouped at either end of a long room and must be separated by the immense paintings of Maclise. Even were the Royal Gallery redecorated, Mr. Brangwyn's work must therefore lack unity and cohesion—and could not be adequately appreciated unless placed in a building better suited for its display both as regards lighting and design.
§ 11. The Royal Commission have reached this conclusion with reluctance, especially as they are called upon to examine a project upon which the artist has been long engaged and which has reached a stage nearing completion. They regret that they should have been prevented by the agreement between the artist and the late Earl Iveagh from reporting at a time when constructive criticism might have proved serviceable.
§ I am, Sir,
§ Your obedient servant,
§ H. C. BRADSHAW,
§ The Clerk of the Parliaments,
§ House of Lords, S.W.1."1200
THE CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEES (THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE)
My Lords, you will have noticed that this Report contains two paragraphs. I think the first paragraph is entirely non-controversial, reporting a small matter to the House, and perhaps it would be more convenient if we cleared that out of the way first. I would, therefore, move that the First Paragraph of the Report of your Lordships' Offices Committee be now considered and adopted. That being done, I will then move the second paragraph.
§ Moved, That Paragraph 1 of this Report be now considered and adopted.—(The Earl of Donoughmore.)
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.
THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE
My Lords, I now move that Paragraph 2 of the Report of your Lordships' Offices Committee be now considered. I think that is the form in which we have usually taken it. This Report covers a matter of considerable importance and public interest, and briefly reminds your Lordships of the history of what has taken place; but in view of the interest taken in this matter I think that I ought to supplement and extend one or two of the matters of history that are therein recited. Your Lordships will remember that this question of the decoration of the Royal Gallery dates from the year 1925, when the matter was brought forward by the late Lord Great Chamberlain, Lord Lincolnshire, in the Offices Committee, who made the Report which is quoted in this Report now before your Lordships. The result of that meeting on July 9, 1925, I think, can be summed up in a few lines. The Earl of Iveagh had offered to complete the decoration of the Royal Gallery; and a further Report, dated August 5, stated that the Committee would regard with warm approval the acceptance of the generous offer made by Lord Iveagh. In 1926, no further Report was made to your Lordships or to those who had been chosen to represent your Lordships more immediately in the matter—my noble friend, the late Lord Cave, who was then Lord Chancellor, and myself.
Towards the end of 1926, and in the early spring of 1927, rumours began to fly about in the Press and elsewhere, with the result that I felt it my duty, at the end of March, to initiate some correspondence which took place then and during the first few days of April, 1201 1927. I initiated the correspondence by writing in full to the Lord Great Chamberlain—and of course, still Lord Lincolnshire—expressing my anxiety as to the absence of certain information as to what was going to be proposed. I was anxious then for two reasons: firstly, because of the reaction that I felt the new proposals might have on the proposals for the erection of your Lordships' War Memorial. I need not expand that reason now. Your Lordships will remember that later that difficulty was satisfactorily adjusted, as reported to your Lordships. But I was also very anxious that the House should not be confronted with, or committed to, anything which they had not seen. I therefore, as I have said, wrote a long letter to Lord Lincolnshire. I sent a copy to the then Lord Chancellor, Lord Cave, and to Lord Peel, who was then First Commissioner of Works. I was getting almost desperate at the absence of information that I could put before your Lordships, and I thought it right to send a copy of my letter, the one to Lord Lincolnshire, to the late Lord Iveagh. The result was very satisfactory indeed. I have that letter before me, and I will, of course, show it to any of your Lordships who desire to see it, but I think I ought to read two extracts from it.
It is a letter of the late Lord Iveagh, dated 4th April, 1927. In one place he says:I asked Mr. Brangwyn to paint one of these end panels as soon as he could do so, and it was my intention to ask for permission to offer it in position for the approval of the authorities.Later Lord Iveagh stated:I hope your Lordship will realise I am doing nothing beyond painting a sample picture to be offered in position for the Peers to see and approve of.This letter was communicated to the others concerned—to my noble friend Lord Peel and to Lord Cave—and I think we all felt at once that our debt to the late Lord Iveagh had, if possible been increased by his thus clearing up the position.
This position was confirmed in a debate which took place in your Lordships' House on July 6, 1927 (which again is referred to in the Report now before your Lordships) in which my noble friend Lord Lincolnshire again emphasised the position in which we then were. 1202 I will quote now from his speech in your Lordships' House:Mr. Brangwyn, the artist, has completed the cartoons for the pictures of the two end walls of the Royal Gallery—there are to be panels at each end of the Royal Gallery—and all details are ready for carrying forward the work on the full-size pictures. The artist hopes to have those for one end of the hall ready for inspection by your Lordships in about three months' time.Some delays followed. One of the delays was due to the health of the artist, in which, I am sure, he had then, as he would have at all times, your Lordships' sympathy. In October of that year, 1927, the late Lord Iveagh died, and Lord Lincolnshire informed me that his successor had adopted the same position as his illustrious father, and was prepared to go on with what had been initiated. I then expressed, as I do now express, my gratitude to my noble friend.
THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE
He has been modest. He has assured us he is not entitled to any gratitude, and that the gratitude ought to be given to his father's executors and not to himself. But he is one of them. Of course, I entirely accept the correction, but my gratitude to him is in no way diminished. On March 8, 1928, the matter again came before your Lordships' Offices Committee, and the Report that came from the Committee is again quoted at length in the Report which is now before your Lordships. At that time Lord Lincolnshire was ill, and he wrote to me expressing his regret that he could not attend the meeting of the Offices Committee, but he forwarded me a very important memorandum with a request that I should read it to the Committee. It was not necessary that it should be embodied in the Report made by the Committee, but I think it is so important now that I ought to read it to your Lordships. It is dated March 5, 1928, and there is a covering letter in which Lord Lincolnshire apologises for his enforced absence.
This is what the memorandum says:In the event of its being suggested 'that it would be difficult for the House of Lords to refuse to accept Mr. Brangwyn's picture now that it has reached such an advanced state'"—those words are in inverted commas—the Lord Great Chamberlain assures the Committee that they need have no apprehension on that subject for the following reasons.1203 I do not think I need quote the first reason: it refers to a contract which had been made between the late Lord Iveagh and Mr. Brangwyn. The second paragraph says:—In the event of the House of Lords not seeing their way to accept Lord Iveagh's offer, the Committee will be interested to know that several applications have already been made to Mr. Brangwyn for the whole of the pictures when completed. It is therefore hoped that these great works of this eminent artist embodying a pictorial representation of the great British Empire, which the War was fought to save, will not go out of the country.I have since heard some doubt expressed as to the accuracy of the information that was then given to me, but I think I ought to mention to your Lordships that Lord Lincolnshire was the sole channel of communication to me and the Lord Chancellor as representing the House in this matter. I think I ought, therefore, to emphasise to your Lordships that we were justified in proceeding on the lines on which we did proceed in view of these communications which had been made to us by one who was at the time the only authority able to make any communication at all.
Now, in August of 1928, again as representing your Lordships, having been chosen to represent your Lordships, I had the privilege of seeing the model, which is now in, the Royal Gallery, in Mr. Brangwyn's studio. I also saw one—or a portion of one—of the panels, and I desire to express my gratitude for the facility which was given to me. I frankly confess that I came to the conclusion that this was a most interesting proposal embodying a very charming work of art. To that extent I am glad to say that my ignorant opinion has been supported by the Report of the Royal Fine Art Commission who describe the paintings as:brilliant in colouring, fertile in invention and full of fancy in their luxuriant variety and treatment.But now we have progressed further, because now, in addition to being able to see the model, we are able to see five of the pictures offered put up in their place, and for the first time we and our advisers, the Royal Fine Art Commission, have a welcome opportunity of making a much more mature judgment. Your Lordships, of course, will realise that the House is not the only authority 1204 concerned. The Lord Great Chamberlain is concerned naturally as being the responsible authority in the Palace of Westminster. The First Commissioner of Works also is concerned as being the successor of my noble friend opposite in whose time this project was initiated.
THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE
I can assure my noble friend that I never forget the Office of Works, so much so that I have been careful to have a conversation with the First Commissioner of Works, and I think I am entitled to say that both the Lord Great Chamberlain and the First Commissioner of Works would welcome your Lordships' discussion and decision on the point which is now before us. The matter also concerns my noble friend Lord lveagh, and we know that he desires that your Lordships' opinion should be taken on the matter. Therefore for the moment the matter is concentrated in your Lordships' House, but I would remind your Lordships that the question before us is not now whether we like these pictures or not. The question before us is: Is it desirable that these pictures should be put up in a particular place?
Again I come to the Report of the Royal Fine Art Commission which is now before your Lordships. Perhaps I ought to read paragraph 10, because it really is the kernel of the whole position. That paragraph is as follows:While the Royal Commission are unable for the foregoing reasons to recommend the erection of the paintings in the Royal Gallery, the Commissioners are conscious of the value of the paintings in themselves, both as commanding respect for an accomplishment of exceptional scale, and likewise as being notable for ingenuity and resource. They do not think, however, that these pictures can possibly do adequate justice to their own merits in the Royal Gallery, where at best they must be grouped at either end of a long room and must be separated by the immense paintings of Maclise. Even were the Royal Gallery redecorated, Mr. Brangwyn's work must therefore lack unity and cohesion—and could not be adequately appreciated unless placed in a building better suited for its display both as regards lighting and design.That being the Report of the Royal Fine Art Commission, even then it seems to me that it is the duty of every member of your Lordships' House to decide this matter individually.
1205 I hold very strongly to the theory that, whilst it is the duty of the artist to produce beautiful things for us to see, it is the business of the layman to say whether they are beautiful or not, and above all whether they are suitable or not. I have looked at these pictures, as the members of the Royal Commission have done, both in daylight and artificial light, a number of times. I have thought over them most carefully, both before we received the Report of the Royal Commission and after, and I am utterly unable to envisage the Royal Gallery complete with these and similar decorations. They will probably look admirable elsewhere—as they do in their own model—and I hope they will have the opportunity of doing so. We may like or we may dislike the Gothic revival, but at any rate the Palace of Westminster is far and away the finest example of it, both of its kind and as being complete in itself. I feel that I do not want to take a share in breaking up that completeness.
Before I sit down I think I ought to refer to one other proposal that has been made. A proposal has 'been made that your Lordships should defer decision on this matter until we see all the pictures in position. I can only remind your Lordships that that is contrary to what has been projected all along. Your Lordships will remember the quotation I made from Lord Iveagh's letter. The proposal was that we should see something of what was offered put up, and that our judgment should be formed upon that basis. More than that, I think the proposal is unfair to all concerned. I do not think it is fair to the pictures. Obviously it is very desirable that these pictures should appear some day in some place for which they are suited. Is it reasonable that they should be completed for the Royal Gallery if there is any chance of them not being required in the Royal Gallery? Obviously they should be completed with the place in view where they will be put eventually. More than that, I do not think the proposal is fair to your Lordships. This is the first chance we have had since 1925, and surely we are entitled, and we ought, to say now what we think. I have no special right to express an opinion in this matter, but what we have to decide is not a matter of fact, but of opinion, and I feel that I have an equal right 1206 with all other members of your Lordships' House.
Therefore, in order to facilitate the course of discussion, having now moved that this Report be considered I think it will be convenient that the debate which will follow should take place on that Motion. Unless I see any very strong feeling in the House in a contrary direction I shall follow that Motion by a further Motion that the Report be adopted. I think I ought to make it clear that it will be open to any member of your Lordships' House who disagrees with me to move that the Report be referred back. That would be, I think, better than disagreeing with the Motion that the Report be adopted. I shall make that Motion, because however beautiful these pictures may be in themselves, I think we have sufficient information before us to decide that they are out of harmony with their proposed surroundings in the Royal Gallery.
§ Moved, That Paragraph 2 of this Report be now considered.—(The Earl of Donoughmore.)
THE EARL OF ONSLOW
My Lords, before you reach a decision in this matter, perhaps I may be allowed to put a few considerations before you in regard to it. The late Earl of Iveagh, whose lavish generosity we all recognise in this matter, as in many others, naturally realised that it would be impossible to decide definitely whether these decorations would prove suitable for the place for which they were destined until they had been completed and put in position; but it was, of course, his earnest desire that the decorations should be suitable and should prove an addition to the decoration of this Palace. The noble Earl has, to the regret of all of us, passed away, and the duty of seeing that his wishes are carried out has devolved upon his trustees. I am not one of the trustees, but I have been asked by one who represents them to say that they feel that it is their duty to submit that a decision upon the acceptability or the reverse of these paintings should not be taken without the fullest opportunity for consideration being afforded to those upon whom the duty of decision lies. Your Lordships may have observed a letter addressed to the public Press and signed by seven of our most eminent artists. It was suggested in 1207 that letter that a final decision should not be made until the whole of the panels are completed and placed in position together. At the present time only a portion of them is available for us to see. It is thought that, unless the decision is taken upon the whole scheme, full justice cannot be done either to the wishes of the late Lord Iveagh or to the artist, and the trustees feel that it is their duty to urge that this point should be taken into earnest consideration by your Lordships.
I might add, though I do not think it is necessary to do so, that the artist has signified to the trustees that this is desirable. This view, I think, appeared in a letter addressed to the Press which was published this morning. I may also observe that no interference with the existing decorations would be contemplated in order to hang the remaining panels. It might possibly be thought that to wait until the whole scheme had been completed would involve considerable delay, but I am informed that the rest of the work is well in hand and that it is not anticipated that the delay would be of a very lengthy character. It is for your Lordships, of course, to decide upon this matter, but I have been asked to put these views of the trustees before you, and consequently I thought it my duty to do so.
§ LORD NEWTON, who had given Notice to ask if it is intended to take any action with reference to the redecoration of the Royal Gallery in view of the Report of the Select Committee on the House of Lords Offices of 6th March, 1930, said: My Lords, I have a Question upon the Paper with regard to this subject, and it has possibly not escaped your notice that this Question is addressed to no one in particular. I felt that it was so difficult to decide who was the responsible authority that I thought I would leave it open to anybody in this House who wished to answer me. As has been explained by the noble Earl, Lord Donoughmore, a great many authorities and persons are concerned in this matter, and it is perhaps the multiplicity of authorities that is responsible for the fact that we seem to be in the unfortunate position that the generosity of the late Lord Iveagh is going to be completely wasted and there will be nothing whatever to show for it. So far as I can make out, there 1208 are no less than eight different authorities concerned in this question. There is first of all the representative of the successors of the late Lord Iveagh; there is the Lord Great Chamberlain, who is not a member of this House there is the Office of Works; there is the House of Lords Offices Committee; the Lord Chancellor; the Lord Chairman; the Royal Fine Art Commission; and finally the House itself. That is a sufficiently imposing list.
§ The story of the activities of these various bodies has been narrated by Lord Donoughmore this afternoon and it is not necessary for me to deal with it in detail, but there are two important matters that we ought to remember. The first is that this question has been going on for five years; and the other, which is still more important, is that three years ago—that is, in 1927—a distinct undertaking was obtained from the artist that his designs would be available for inspection before the end of that year. The mysterious fact—and I hope we shall have some explanation upon that point—is that, although the Royal Fine Art Commission were specifically invited, as has been explained by Lord Donoughmore, to inspect these designs, they apparently had no opportunity of doing so until the present year, nearly three years after the undertaking was given. Upon this point I await with great interest an explanation either from my noble friend Lord Peel, who was—
§ LORD NEWTON
I am very glad to hear it. I await then an explanation from the noble Earl, who represented the Office of Works, and also from my noble friend Lord Crawford, who represents the Royal Fine Art Commission. It seems to me a very mysterious matter and I can only account for it (I know nothing whatever about it) by supposing that the artist was unwilling to show his work to anybody before it was completed, and that he had more or less gone back upon his decision.
We have had the opinion of the Royal Fine Art Commission and it is unnecessary for me to deal with it at any length. So far as I am concerned, I agree absolutely with their view. I believe it to be the opinion of everybody here present. At all events—it may be my misfortune—I can hardly think of a 1209 single person who has been enthusiastically or even warmly in favour of the Brangwyn cartoons, and, speaking for myself, as a person who is no authority upon art at all, I confess that they seem to me entirely inappropriate. If I may say so, they seem to me far too exuberant for our conventional and restrained surroundings. I cannot help thinking that they would be much more appropriate in some other building, say the legislative palace of One of the States that have sprung into existence since the War. They might, for instance, be appropriate in what I believe is known as the Dail Eireann, or they might go abroad and be considered appropriate for the palace that I understand the League of Nations is now constructing at Geneva. Failing that, there are plenty of other opportunities which might be utilised.
It is quite plain that there will be a considerable demand for these works of art, whatever we individually think of them. Their merit is recognised and the genius of the artist is admired. They may be acquired for some totally different purpose. They may, for instance, be properly utilised for one of the super-luxury clubs which I understand, in spite of Mr. Snowden, are likely to be erected in this City, or they might possibly be acquired by some multi-millionaire democrat like Mr. Hearst, who would be able to demonstrate the extraordinarily bad taste of the British aristocracy in refusing to accept a work of this description.
I observe that a certain number of artists and other people have rushed forward in order to defend (if that were necessary) Mr. Brangwyn, animated by what I hope I may term without offence the real spirit of trade unionism. I fail to see why much attention should be paid to these eminent authorities. The body which we rely upon is the Royal Fine Art Commission, a body constituted for the express purpose of advising Government Departments in regard to works of art. Surely we do not want to go any further than that. That ought to be a sufficiently high authority to satisfy anybody here, and if we are going to invite expressions of opinion from artists and all sorts of people all over the place, we should eventually end, perhaps, by running up against a band of fanatics, who would 1210 be capable of asserting that the only person fit to employ for a work of this importance would be Mr. Epstein, or somebody of the kind. I really do not see why any particular attention should be paid to these gentlemen, nor can I see that the artist is suffering from any grievance. It is plain that the publicity which attaches to the whole transaction has enormously improved the pecuniary value of these works, and so there will be no trouble whatever in disposing of them.
The really important question seems to me to be this. As I understand it, the contract made by the late Lord Iveagh was with Mr. Brangwyn and nobody else. In fact, it seems to be a case of aut Brangwyn aut nullus, and if the Brangwyn panels are not accepted, then what I want to know is whether any money will be available for future decoration. I gather not. I gather that the designs do not pass first to the present Lord Iveagh and his brothers personally, but fall into residue, and if they do I presume it will not be possible to sell them, and in that case there will be no money available for decoration. I trust I am wrong, but if I am not wrong it is of no use discussing any further plans. If by chance there are any funds available, I would venture to make a suggestion. I believe that with a very much smaller expenditure of money a far more successful scheme can be evolved. I believe that an infinitely better impression could be obtained by removing the panels there now with the exception of the two big frescoes, and filling up the panels tapestry, and leaving the upper portion of the Chamber undisturbed. I believe that a scheme of this kind would completely harmonise with the decoration and with the frescoes there already. I believe there would be very little criticism to be found with it on the ground that it would not harmonise, and it would have this additional recommendation, that it would cost very little money, because if the Office of Works has no tapestry for the purpose, panels could be woven at a comparatively small cost, and the whole thing could be done for £4,000 or £5,000. As I remarked just now, however, it is not much use discussing the future until we know whether any money is available for decoration at all, and I put the question 1211 really in order to ascertain whether any funds will be available or not.
§ EARL PEEL
My Lords, there seems to be so much reluctance on the part of some noble Lords whom I thought were going to address your Lordships, that I am compelled very unwillingly to rise and address a few remarks to you myself. I had some responsibility in the earlier stages of this matter. In fact, there is a very long history behind it, but I shall spare you that history, and only put in the briefest words such matters as I think I ought to lay before you. Let me say at once that it gives me great pain, certainly in my own person, to refuse anything offered, and more so the fine decorative scheme presented and offered with such munificent generosity by the noble Earl, the late Lord Iveagh, and also his son, who is a member of this House, and other trustees. I do not wish to be drawn into a discussion as to the exact relations between the Lord Great Chamberlain and the Office of Works. During the three years that I had the office of First Commissioner of Works I had some intricate discussions with the holder of the office of Lord Great Chamberlain as to the respective jurisdictions, and I believe there is no more difficult question in the realm of politics than the extent to which, and the way in which, those two jurisdictions are interwoven.
I rose merely to answer a definite question put by Lord Newton. He said he did not understand why there had been so much delay in submitting these panels to the Fine Art Commission. I will answer that very shortly, because I might be supposed, if I answered at length, to be criticising others, and that is the last thing that I wish to do. One of the things that I most regret is that this matter should come up for discussion in this House. I regret that there should be debate upon it at all, but I can only say that from the very inception of this matter the first thing that I was urging constantly upon the trustees, and of course, through the trustees, upon the artist, was that the design should be submitted at the earliest possible stage to the Fine Art Commission. I explained my reasons quite simply. I was well aware of the history of the decoration. I was also very well aware of the whole story in connection with the proposed 1212 removal of the Queen Victoria statue, and the great indignation shown by a great many distinguished artists at the idea of doing anything which would alter, mar, or injure the scheme of decoration made for this House in the years 1840–50.
I was, of course, very familiar with the decorative scheme in the Royal Gallery, and of course very familiar with and a great admirer of the works of Mr. Brangwyn, and what I was afraid of was that, however fine the work done by Mr. Brangwyn, it might not harmonise in colour, design and texture with the existing decorations of the Chamber. Therefore, as I was very anxious that there should be no disappointment, and anxious if possible to secure the artist against any idea that the work upon which he had expended so much thought and brilliant invention should at a later stage not be accepted, on various grounds by your Lordships, I was very anxious that it should be submitted to the Fine Art Commission. There were many delays, but I frankly state that I was not responsible for any of those delays. I was extremely anxious, and did everything I could to overcome all those delays, and it is a matter of great regret to me that those matters were not put before the Royal Commission at an earlier stage. They had some complaints. There was a question of decorating the ceiling, there was the question of these panels, there was also the question of the Memorial, and they very naturally said that they wished all these matters to be submitted to them at the same time in order that they might form a judgment as to how these different systems of decorations harmonised with one another.
I submit that we should accept the proposals made to us by the Offices Committee and by the noble Earl, the Chairman of Committees. We have all read the admirable and careful Report made by the Fine Art Commission, and I think we might agree with it. Certainly in the three years that I was at the Office of Works—and I was advised constantly and most fully on various artistic matters by the Fine Art Commission—I can only say that on all occasions I think we accepted the advice of that Commission. But it has been now suggested by various distinguished artists, and I think some others, that it is a great pity that the matter should not be postponed, and that your Lordships should not try and 1213 coma to a final decision on this matter until all the panels are completed. I submit with great respect that everybody can perfectly well arrive at a decision on whether these panels do or do not harmonise with the decorations in the Royal Gallery by examining and judging and forming an opinion on those panels that have already been set up; and it would really not be fair to the artist or to your Lordships to delay any longer that decision, and tri wait until the whole of the work was completed.
May I say, in one reply to those artists, that that was the position taken up by the man most concerned in the matter, Mr. Brangwyn himself. I have a copy of a letter written to me on May 11, 1928, by Mr. Bland who, I believe, was the secretary to the trustees. I leave out the non-relevant matter, but the words are these:—The painter further agreed that as soon as possible one end of the Royal Gallery"—one end—should be filled temporarily with the finished pictures for the approval of their Lordships, and if these were not approved of they should be removed and the scheme come to an end.Well then, it is perfectly clear that we should do no injustice to the artist if we came to a decision now, even if we decided not to accept them, because he regarded it as a perfectly fair arrangement and was ready to accept it himself. I therefore again urge that we should accept the advice, not only of the Fine Art Commission, hut also of the Offices Committee.
But may I recall one point, because there is some advantage, after all, in your Lordships' House being consistent with itself? I remember very well the question of the removal of the statue of the Queen from that neighbouring Chamber to another position. I think that on a poll being taken there was a majority of your Lordships for that removal. But as soon as this was made known there was a chorus from all the artistic societies and artists, who expressed their views on the matter. I remember the noble Earl, Lord Beauchamp, took great part in that. And what was their ground? They said: "Here is one of the finest examples of that period, and it would be a shame and a sin to make any alterations in that; 1214 it should be left as it came fresh from the mind of the artist." I therefore ask your Lordships to remain constant to that decision, and, with the expression of every gratitude to the present Lord Iveagh and to the trustees for their splendid munificence, to leave these Chambers as they were decorated some 80 years ago, and not to introduce into them pictures which, however original and ingenious in themselves, would not harmonise with the desires and aims of the artists who constructed these buildings.
§ EARL BEAUCHAMP
My Lords, if I rise now it is only that I may convey on your Lordships behalf what I believe to be your unanimous wish, and that is to hear an expression of opinion from the noble Earl, Lord Crawford, on this question. We have had, not for the first time, a very valuable report from the Fine Art Commission, and I know how in the past, when they have expressed an opinion, it has generally been accepted by artists throughout the country. I would wish to associate myself with the expression of thanks to the noble Earl, Lord Iveagh, for his generosity in making the offer to decorate the Royal Gallery, but I also associate myself wholly with what has been said by the noble Earl who has just sat down, and by the Fine Art Commission, with regard to the Royal Gallery. It may not he fine or splendid in itself, but it is extraordinarily interesting from the historical point of view as being the perfect example of mid-Victorian Gothic; and it would be a great mistake from the point of view of the history of art if you were to interfere with it.
Not that all the decoration quite goes back the eighty years of which the noble Earl spoke: I am responsible for a great deal of it; and the wallpaper which surrounds the two frescoes is from a contemporary design by Crace, who was an artist who helped a great deal with the decoration of the Houses of Parliament, worked under the architect at the time, did a great deal in the decoration, and designed the smaller parts of the decoration in this House and the House of Commons. We were fortunate in the Office of Works to find that there was this design of his for a wallpaper, and it seemed to me to be the most suitable wallpaper to put into the Royal Gallery. 1215 Since it has been there I think most of your Lordships have agreed that it looks very well and is appropriate to the place where it is. I differ from the noble Lord, Lord Newton, in his optimism with regard to tapestry. I do not think we could get tapestry for anything like the sum of money which he mentioned, but that every single one of the panels would cost at least £3,000 straight away, which, multiplied by the number of panels necessary, would really come to a very large sum of money.
Again, there is that great difficulty, which your Lordships must realise, not only in the Royal Gallery but also in a room like the Moses Room—that you have got it already partly decorated, and it is almost impossible to find an artist to-day who could decorate in harmony with the pictures which were painted some time ago. Taste changes, fashion changes. It would be almost, if not quite, impossible to find anybody who could really do it well in the taste and fashion of eighty years ago. Therefore, I am inclined to think that the best thing we can do is perhaps to leave it as it is at present, with the interesting portraits which have been presented to us by various people. For my own part, I would repeat that we owe a great deal to Lord Crawford for the advice which has been given by the Fine Art Commission, and I am sure I am expressing the unanimous wish of your Lordships if I invite him to speak.
THE EARL OF CRAWFORD
My Lords, in answer to that very irregular invitation, I should like to say a word about the procedure in this matter. It is now suggested that the whole of the vacant panels should be filled with paintings before a final decision is reached. Five are already erected and there are eleven vacant panels left. I do not know how long we have been in getting the five. I contemplate that a good many years will elapse before the remaining eleven are completed, by which time I would remind your Lordships, if all is well, the War Memorial itself will have been erected. Whether the panels will then be in conformity with the scale and scheme of the War Memorial I cannot predict. When certain artists the other day asked that a postponement should take place I found that some of them had not inspected the pictures in situ, and 1216 others did not know that the admirable model existed—did not see it in fact.
I want particularly to refer to the idea that in justice to the painter and in justice to the late Lord Iveagh a postponement should take place. My noble friend Lord Onslow said "in justice to the late Lord Iveagh." I think he is under a misapprehension. The late Lord Iveagh only contemplated that a single panel should be erected in order to give your Lordships an opportunity of judgment. In the letter written by Mr. Bland, one of the trustees, on April 27, 1928, and communicated by the First Commissioner of Works to the Fine Art Commission, he says that the late Lord Iveagh had tried to hasten forward Mr. Brangwyn's work upon the large picture—upon the large picture—for the upper end of the Princes Chamber. He hopes that it will be ready for inspection soon. He continues—When the picture is available the House of Lords will have something upon which to form a judgment.In the next sentence he says that this proposal is the original proposal and has been repeated several times in the course of correspondence. So far, therefore, as the late Lord Iveagh is concerned, it is obvious that throughout the correspondence he only contemplated that a single picture should be erected for your Lordships' judgment. Mr. Brangwyn himself shared that view. In a further letter, dated May 11, 1928, also addressed to the Office of Works, Mr. Brangwyn, as the noble Earl, Lord Peel, has reminded your Lordships, expressed his agreement that one end of the Royal Gallery should be filled with pictures for the approval of your Lordships and, if not approved, could be withdrawn.
Not only has the intention of the late Lord Iveagh been amply fulfilled; but equally the promise of Mr. Brangwyn himself. Mr. Brangwyn has even gone further, because he has supplied a most admirable model which gives a conspectus of the whole of the Royal Gallery and shows in the most clear and unmistakable fashion what is his conception of the decoration of the Gallery as a whole. It is only necessary to go into the Royal Gallery, thirty, forty or fifty feet, and to look in this direction, northwards, and the whole of the end of 1217 that great Chamber is occupied by Mr. Brangwyn's paintings. The lighting has been revised in order to meet his wishes. The colouring of the stonework has been removed in order to meet his wishes. No artist could possibly ask for a better opportunity for his work to be carefully studied.
One further point I wish to mention is that the artist was asked to consider the War Memorial in connection with these paintings, but no undertaking of any description was given by any responsible authority that the whole of the great Gallery should be redecorated. Your Lordships know that it is proposed to cut away, at either end of the Royal Gallery, the great stonework pilasters, that the stone itself is to be cleared, the ceiling to be recoloured, the great run of linen pattern round the Gallery to be painted and gilded, the gold to be removed from the statues, and so on and so on. No commission or instruction of any kind or permission by this House was given. The whole idea was that the panels should be painted. I think Lord Iveagh will bear me out when I say that, unless the Office of Works finds the money for this very expensive redecoration, the scheme projected by Mr.Brangwyn will not conform to his desires. It is said in the letter I read this morning that whether or not the pictures harmonise with Maclise is a debatable matter. That is not the only problem. The decoration should also harmonise with the War Memorial which is still incomplete.
But the Royal Gallery does not stand by itself. It is not an isolated room in the Palace of Westminster. It will only take a couple of moments for me to read to your Lordships what was said on that point by the Commission. I should like to read, if I may, what they say in paragraph 8:The Royal Commission are well aware that the Palace of Westminster differs widely from the style and decorative methods of our own day, and that it is often disparaged as lacking originality. It nevertheless remains a remarkable achievement, being the most pronounced example of the Gothic Revival, and is thus the chief monument of an important phase in the development of British architecture. It was designed with confidence and was carried through with decision, and is now substantially as left by Barry and Pugin, its rapid construction having resulted in a unity of execution seldom found in a build- 1218 ing of such size and importance. It equally hears witness to the honesty and perfection of British craftsmanship.Paragraph 9 states:The Royal Gallery is the scene of State ceremonial and International conference; but it is also an integral part of a suite of great apartments, to which it is scrupulously related in character, namely, to the adjacent Royal Staircase and Porch, to the King's Robing Room, the Prince's Chamber, and the House of Lords. All alike would be thrown into confusion by so abrupt a transition in the scale and nature of decoration. Moreover, the general tone of the Gallery and its neighbouring apartments is in keeping with that of the Palace as a whole, and this is also true of the existing paintings. In the House of Commons, whether the medium be canvas, fresco, mosaic, sculpture or stained glass, the central theme is the statesmanship and government of Britain and the Empire. It may here be observed that Mr. Brangwyn's paintings of oriental processions and exotic scenery, indicate no connection with the Empire as such; nor does the subject-matter or its treatment suggest any degree of relation to Imperial or Dominion Parliaments.The Fine Art Commission took the view that these paintings were extremely interesting in many ways and very beautiful paintings. I think one of your Lordships has already quoted those very words. The only ground of criticism adopted by the Fine Art Commission and, I may remind your Lordships, endorsed by the Offices Select Committee of this House, was that they were inappropriate to their surroundings, and that they introduced an abrupt transition in tone, scale, colouring and vivacity from what is the prevailing conception of the Palace of Westminster.
I am one of those who take the view that the Palace of Westminster is a very noble and very solemn thing and that it should be respected to the utmost of our power. I am not against its further enrichment. On the contrary, I have taken my Share in adding a good deal of what I think is proper enrichment of this great Palace. I had the honour of serving on Mr. Speaker Whitley's Committee which was responsible for the eight great painted cartoons and the two mosaics in St. Stephen's Hall carried out by a company of young artists under the guidance and inspiration of Sir David Cameron—a real, fundamental and authentic enrichment of the Palace of Westminster, thoroughly in keeping with the whole of our traditions and outlook. On many other occasions I have had my share in furthering work of 1219 that character, and I do beg your Lordships to remember that we not only owe something to the great artists of the past but to the artists of posterity. Although there is no one keener than myself in encouraging modern art in every way, it is not necessary that it should be carried out at the expense of past art, of past distinction, and I think these interesting and very remarkable pictures would do greater justice to themselves, and certainly would be more in harmony with their scheme, if they were erected elsewhere than in the Royal Gallery here. I beg to support the Report.
THE EARL OF ONSLOW
I beg your Lordships' leave to say just one word arising out of what my noble friend behind me said. He said he thought I was under a misapprehension in saying that the trustees were of opinion that it would meet the wishes of the late Lord Iveagh, so far as they are able to interpret them, and the wish of the artist, as now expressed, who has changed his mind, I gather, as to the whole number of pictures being put up. The trustees, I have no doubt, are aware of the views expressed by Lord Iveagh, and quoted by the noble Lord, but it is possible that they may have changed their minds—I do not know—in view of the fact that the artist has changed his mind. I wish your Lordships to understand only that those were the views I was asked to convey on behalf of the trustees, so that they should be under your Lordships' consideration in coming to a decision.
§ THE EARL OF IVEAGH
My Lords, I am afraid I must speak. I had hoped that I need not do so. The noble Lord, Lord Newton, raised certain questions which I think I have tried to explain to him before now. My father entered into an agreement with the artist to produce enough pictures to fill the vacant panels in the Royal Gallery, and I certainly agree that it was my father's idea that you should judge at a stage which has now been reached. But Lord Newton also asked another question as to whether there was any money available. Most of your Lordships will know something of the law about wills. We, the trustees, are acting under the will of my father. His estate is honouring a liability to the contract which I have in my hand. Under that contract the paintings have to be completed by the artist. He binds 1220 himself to complete the pictures. I hope I shall make myself clear. I do not want your Lordships to be under any misconception of what I am asking you to do. I am asking you a favour—to put off your decision until all the paintings which have to be completed under that contract are finished so that you can see them.
I am not doing that on my own account as an individual. The trustees are not doing it on their own account. I have in my hand a letter from Mr. Brangwyn dated March 30, and I will read most of it. He says:—I need not say that I regret that you should be so unhopeful of the final decision of the Peers with regard to my pictures. I am still most desirous that, if you will be so kind, you should ask their Lordships to permit me to submit my finished work in position in the Royal Gallery before they give their final decision. If the Peers decline to accept the final work I shall not consider it to be a greater rebuff than if they give their decision on the part of the work they have already seen, but I shall have had the satisfaction of completing what I look upon as the most important work of my life. I have no wish to press the suggestion as to the cleaning of the present walls, and I am quite content to be allowed to show my pictures in the hall with the existing surroundings. I agree, if my request is successful, to take down and store the pictures at present on view.I want to put this to your Lordships. I am my father's son, and have to ask you to give consideration to his conception, a conception of his and of the late Lord Great Chamberlain—they are neither of them here—in memory of my father. Can I do anything else but ask you to give the fullest sympathy to those considerations, whatever your decision may be? The pictures are going to be taken away. We shall put them back again. You will not get used to them in the meanwhile, and so get to like them. I do not want to prejudge or alter anyone's opinion. If you take your decision now, you are absolutely in your right; but I feel it is my duty to appeal to you to wait before coming to your decision until the paintings are completed and in position.
My Lords, if I venture to intervene in this debate it is because I have had the honour of holding the position of First Commissioner of Works, and was faced with a somewhat similar position to that with which the House is faced this afternoon. It seems an unfortunate thing in this country 1221 that when you get a combination of a generous donor and a great artist the result always is rejection and a snub for their work. It is not encouraging to donors or to artists. Why this situation should ever have been allowed to arise I cannot conceive. Before the work was started it would have been quite possible to come to a conclusion as to whether Mr. Brangwyn was the kind of artist whose pictures would be in harmony with the work of a mid-Victorian artist like Maclise or not. Anyone who knew the great work of Mr. Brangwyn would know that he would not be able to produce pictures which would harmonise with and hang next to the work of Maclise. That could have been decided before anything was done at all.
Lord Iveagh generously wished to give £20,000 for redecorating the hall, and surely the first thing that ought to have been done was to consider whether we wanted the hall redecorated. I have heard eloquent speeches this afternoon recommending that in no circumstances should you touch the hall at all, and I am inclined to agree. A neo-Gothic hall with early Victorian paintings, which are themselves so much out of keeping with the hall, can certainly not be improved by superimposing upon those paintings any further works which must clash either with the hall itself or with the early Victorian paintings. What I feel so strongly is, how can we reject the appeal which the noble Earl, Lord Iveagh, has just made? What is it, after all? It is that the generosity of the donor and the work of the artist should be given the fullest chance possible. Personally I do not think that it is likely to change the views of the Royal Fine Art Commission or the views of most of the members of this House, but at any rate it should not be said that we did not go to the utmost limit before forming a final opinion. In matters of art, which, after all, are matters of opinion and taste and not matters of fact, is not England's greatest artist entitled to have a wish granted which costs just nothing and which will give him satisfaction? Personally I think it would appear very ungracious and churlish if we did not agree to the appeal which has been made to us.
Our position in this matter is certainly an unfortunate one as far as the art world is concerned. No one who has 1222 been in contact with art and artists can fail to know that it must be a deep and almost mortal blow to a great painter, who has been spending years of his life with the dream of becoming immortal in one of England's greatest halls, to see his work discarded. A noble Lord suggested that he should hawk his work round and sell it to some foreigner or other, to some palace or institution. Surely he can have little conception of what an artist must feel who has created something for decorating one particular place and has that proposal made to him. He might as well suggest that Michael Angelo should take the Sistine Chapel and put it perhaps in some mosque in Constantinople. I agree fully with the report of the Royal Fine Art Commission myself, but I do feel that I should be reluctant to give a vote which would involve the request of the artist and of the donor's son being rejected this afternoon.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
My Lords, I fancy there is very great unanimity of opinion really in your Lordships' House. In the first place we have most of us formed a view as to the appropriateness of the particular paintings, and on the other hand we are most unwilling to have even the appearance of being ungracious for the very generous gift which has been offered to us and for the work of this very distinguished artist. I agree with my noble friend who has just sat down to a certain extent. I think we ought to go a very long way to avoid even the appearance of being ungracious in this matter. We are now presented with a request by the present Earl of Iveagh himself, that instead of accepting the Report of the Committee we should comply with the suggestion of the artist and allow him to complete his designs.
I would be very glad if I could find it within my duty at once to accept such a suggestion, but I am immensely impressed, if I may say so, by the speech of my noble friend the Lord Chairman, in moving the Motion before your Lordships, in which he pointed out that to accept such a suggestion would place both the artist and your Lordships' House really in a false position. I do not see my way to answer my noble friend if I wished to do so. He convinced me that such a course was very 1223 difficult indeed to accept. Yet we have a request by the son of our old friend the late Earl of Iveagh, that we should be willing to allow the artist to complete his work. I feel, like my noble friend, most unwilling to vote against him, but I cannot answer the argument of the Lord Chairman. I cannot help thinking that in these very difficult circumstances we should do well to take a little more time before arriving at a decision. I cannot help hoping that if there was any opportunity of private conversation we might be able to get rid of the difficulty. It is because I feel myself in that dilemma and because of that hope that I am going to take the course, which I hope your Lordships will approve, of moving that the debate be adjourned.
§ Moved, That the debate be adjourned. —(The Marquess of Salisbury.)
§ EARL BEAUCHAMP
My Lords, I do not know whether the noble Marquess—this is a new subject before your Lordships' House, so I think I can speak—can give us some idea of how long an adjournment he would propose and what course of procedure he would suggest. I must confess I rather deprecate any adjournment of the debate, and I think if there is to be any adjournment we should be told a little more of what is in the mind of the noble Marquess about future procedure. Most of us came here prepared to vote on the question.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
My Lords, if I might be allowed to answer the question which has just been put—any observation which comes from the noble Earl deserves the greatest respect—I would say that I was well aware that in taking the course I did I was not speaking in conformity with much of the wishes of your Lordships' House. I did it because of the great difficulty of the dilemma in which we stand. I should suggest an adjournment to an early day after the Easter Recess.
§ VISCOUNT LEE OF FAREHAM
My Lords, I dislike very much the idea of not agreeing with the plea put forward by the noble Marquess, Lord Salisbury, for an adjournment, but I am not quite clear as to what is the object of an adjournment. What is it we are to consider in the interval before taking up this matter again? The whole debate has suddenly been taken upon a personal plane 1224 rather than upon the merits of these paintings as forming a desirable addition to the Royal Gallery. Whilst of course we must all have the deepest sympathy with the noble Earl, Lord Iveagh, and understand the feeling he has shown in pleading for this scheme which his father had so generously contemplated should be carried into effect, I find myself entirely in disagreement with my noble friend.
§ THE EARL OF IVEAGH
I do not think you quite understood my meaning. I did not say I wanted to carry it into effect, but that I wanted you to postpone consideration of it until you had seen the whole thing.
§ VISCOUNT LEE OF FAREHAM
We have been given an opportunity of seeing the complete scheme in the model, which to those accustomed to examine such things is sufficient to enable us to come to a conclusion. I cannot accept the personal view that has been put forward by the noble Lord, Lord Melchett. The artist, after all, has had the opportunity for which he asked. He has had more than the opportunity for which he originally asked. Whilst no one wishes to hurt the feelings of an eminent artist after all he and his craft are not sacrosanct. They must submit to the ordinary play of criticism and, in this case, the artist has been given an opportunity that has rarely been afforded to any great painter in this country. We are asked now to wait until a scheme which some of us think is fundamentally unsuitable in its inception, which is totally inappropriate not only to these buildings but still more to the conception of the War Memorial, is carried further in order that we should be in position two or three years hence to condemn the whole thing. Whilst I do not wish to find myself in opposition to my noble friend Lord Salisbury in this matter, I earnestly hope that the House may be allowed to express its opinion here and now. I think the House is in a position to give its judgment.
§ THE LORD PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL (LORD PARMOOR)
My Lords, I must admit that the noble Marquess opposite has not convinced me that the Motion for the adjournment of the debate is one which should be accepted under the conditions which he has mentioned. We all feel the awkwardness of 1225 the position and we all desire to escape any possible charge either of discourtesy or of haste. If the noble Marquess had adopted the view that through delay we might have an opportunity of seeing all the panels in place and thereby modifying our opinion, I could understand that the Motion for the adjournment of the debate might be suitable. But if the Motion is accepted, judging from the temper of the House and the nature of the speeches, I can see no prospect of any alteration of the view that has been almost unanimously expressed after the speech of the Lord Chairman and the reference to the Report or the Fine Art Commission. Is it not an additional discourtesy to keep a matter of this kind in suspense, if we have really come to a decision and no new point is in the least likely to come up which would alter the derision which we have formed? That is my feeling regarding the Motion for the adjournment of the debate. If there were the smallest prospect of the adjournment producing any alteration in Our View—
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
I do not know whether the noble and learned Lord will allow me to interrupt him for a moment.
§ THE MARQUESS OF SALISBURY
I am sure that it will not alter my opinion or, I think, that of any of your Lordships, but I think we might perhaps, by means of an adjournment, be enabled to persuade those who have requested us to allow the full panel to be carried out, to abandon that request. I think that might happen if we had time for the purpose, but, if we ace called upon to decide now, I shall, of course, vote with what is, I think, almost the unanimous view of the House.
§ THE EARL OF IVEAGH
My Lords, may I suggest that the adjourment should be until after the pictures are in position? We should decide the matter now. If the adjournment took place until after the pictures were in position it might be a matter of five years. I should like to know the opinion of this House. If the House will not accept that, I am satisfied, Let the House decide. I am not going to alter my opinion.
§ LORD PARMOOR
I thought that perhaps, after what the noble Earl had said, the noble Marquess would take that view, and so I need say no more.
§ Motion for the adjournment of the debate, by leave, withdrawn.
§ On Question, Motion that Paragraph 2 be now considered, agreed to.
§ Moved, That Paragraph 2 of the Report be adopted.—(The Earl of Donough more.)
§ THE EARL OF IVEAGH
My Lords, I understand that I am to move that Paragraph 2 of the Report be referred back to the Committee. I suppose it is quite clear that the acceptance of this Amendment does not accept the pictures. I want you to consider them afterwards. If that is so, I will move that.
§ THE EARL OF IVEAGH
I want it referred back in order that it may be reconsidered at a later date when you see the whole thing.
THE EARL OF CRAWFORD
That would not be the effect of the Amendment, which is that the Committee resume its consideration of the facts now before it. It does not in the least bind the Committee to wait five years before giving a judgment.
§ THE LORD CHANCELLOR (LORD SANKEY)
I think the position is this: the Motion of Lord Donouglunore is that Paragraph 2 of the Report be adopted, and an Amendment is proposed by Lord Iveagh that Paragraph 2 of the Report be referred back.
§ THE EARL OF IVEAGH
Ought I to move something else? If someone will tell me, I shall be only too glad. I think your Lordships must know what I want to do, and I think some noble Lords have signified their wish to vote with me as to whether you postpone your consideration or whether you refuse now.
THE EARL OF DONOUGHMORE
My Lords, I would suggest to your Lordships that this will be the convenient form— 1227 namely, that we should divide on the Question that the matter be referred back. Your Lordships' Committee will, of course, know that it was referred back in order that the matter should be delayed until all the pictures are completed. I do not think that it will be necessary to put that in the words of the Amendment.