HL Deb 26 June 1930 vol 78 cc182-4

LORD CAWLEY rose to ask the Chairman of Committees if he can inform the House what progress is being made in regard to the House of Lords War Memorial. The noble Lord said: My Lords, I asked this same Question two years ago. In answer, the Lord Chairman, after referring to the Report of the Committee appointed to deal with the matter, said:— It is quite true that the design for the statue has been accepted, and I understand that the large model has made very good progress in the hands of the sculptor, Mr. Tweed.

This was two years ago, and I hope the Lord Chairman will be able to tell us something more definite to-day. It is now eleven years since the money was subscribed for the Memorial. Many who subscribed to it have passed away, and if more progress is not made than has been made so far we shall all be in our graves before the Memorial is erected. I understand that the delay is due to the sculptor. I do not know whether Mr. Tweed is one of those artists who think themselves superior to all the rules that bind business men, and considers that, although he takes a contract to do certain work, there is no particular obligation to fulfil it; but a contract is a contract, and, whether he is a business man or an artist, if he undertakes a coin, mission and enters into a contract he is under an obligation to carry it out. As far as I can see, Mr. Tweed does not seem to put himself in that category.


My Lords, I hope the answer which I am able to give in a few words will be satisfactory to the noble Lord and to your Lord ships. I quite appreciate the fact that is in the noble Lord's mind. Your Lordships will remember that when we reported to your Lordships last, in December, 1928, we established the position that, the Committee had done everything that it could do for the moment and that the matter was then in the hands of the artist. I had a letter from the artist this morning. Perhaps I ought to say that the noble Lord gave Notice of his Question earlier in the Session and I desire to express my sympathy with him in respect of the reason which has delayed the answer to the Question until now. I wrote to the artist when the noble Lord first gave Notice of his Question and he replied that he hoped to have a full-sized model of the War Memorial ready shortly at his studio.

As soon as the noble Lord gave Notice of his Question for the second time I communicated with Mr. Tweed, and he has written to me saying that he has made some progress with the figures. My noble friend Lord Lucan saw Mr. Tweed this morning and brings still later news, which is to the effect that in about a fortnight's time Mr. Tweed hopes to invite your Lordships' Committee—I dare say the noble Lord will be interested to hear that—to go down to see the figures in the studio. I understand Mr. Tweed is hard at work on the statue and that he is doing no other work. I hope, therefore, that there will be some progress very shortly towards the ultimate ambition which, of course, we all have of seeing the statue in its proper place and seeing your Lordships' War Memorial completed. I think that is a little more news than we had to present on the last occasion, and I hope the noble Lord will be satisfied with the few words that I have been able to say.


My Lords, I beg to thank the noble Earl the Lord Chairman for his answer to my Question. I hope he will insist upon these promises being carried out without undue delay.

House adjourned at twenty-five minutes before five o'clock.