§ 6.48 p.m.
§ LORD MANCROFT
My Lords, I should like, with the permission of the House, to take this opportunity to make a short Statement, similar to that which has already been made by my right honourable friend the Minister of Works in another place, on the subject of Osborne House in the Isle of Wight. On the occasion of King Edward VII's Coronation, and by reason of the Osborne Estate Act, 1902, Osborne House in the Isle of Wight became part of the public property of the Crown to be administered by the Ministry of Works. The Act directed that the house should be used as a memorial of Her late Majesty Queen Victoria. Since that date, certain rooms which had been in personal occupation of Queen Victoria—including that in which she died—have been maintained exactly as they were and never shown to visitors. This year marks the Jubilee of the opening of the house, and Her Majesty the Queen has commanded that these rooms shall now be open to the public. Her Majesty has also offered on permanent loan the furnishings and works of art which are lodged in Osborne House or in the Swiss Cottage and Museum. These objects are to remain permanently at Osborne, and my right honourable friend the Minister of Works will have the duty and charge of maintaining and administering the collection in the interests of the visiting public and of the patients of the King Edward VII Convalescent Home. My right honourable friend has had the honour to accept Her Majesty's gracious offer. It is hoped that the private apartments can be opened to the public early next year.