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Supply—Civil Service Estimates

Volume 203: debated on Monday 25 July 1870

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SUPPLY— considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

(1.) Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £10,170, be granted to Her Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1871, for the Buildings of the Houses of Parliament."

said, he had to ask the Committee to vote the sum of £10,170 as a Supplementary Estimate for the amount required for the buildings connected with the Houses of Parliament. The purpose for which it was proposed that this money should be spent was for the convenience of hon. Members in the discharge of their duty while attending that House. That subject had long engaged attention in successive Parliaments. In 1863 the Committee annually appointed to watch over the refreshment department of the House made a Report calling attention to the insufficient accommodation afforded by the existing refreshment-rooms, and recommended a plan which had been brought under their notice by Mr. Barry for pulling down the side wall of the present refreshment-rooms, and thus making them broader and more commodious. Towards the end of the Session that Report was brought under the consideration of the House by the Chairman of the Committee, and somewhat discussed; and he himself took the liberty of condemning that proposal as very unsatisfactory, and suggested that a better arrangement would be to make two or three of the rooms, forming part of the magnificent range in front of the river available, for the refreshment department of the House. Practically, the conference-room had ceased to be used for its original purpose, and he suggested that it should be regarded as the centre of operations; but the scheme was virtually negatived by public opinion. In 1867 a plan was brought under the notice of the Refreshment-room Committee, as he learnt from the record of their proceedings, but the plan was not to be found in the Office. Next year a Committee was appointed to consider the subject, and Mr. Barry submitted to the Committee plans which would have cost £24,000, and which the Committee rejected as unsatisfactory. Again, last year his predecessor (Mr. Layard) submitted plans to a Committee, which was not satisfied with them; and thus it happened that when he entered Office there were no plans before the House which met with general approbation. He first set himself to inquire what were the real wants and wishes of hon. Members, and then considered the most likely way of meeting them. He arrived at the conclusion that it was desirable that the conference-room and the adjoining room should be appropriated as the principal refreshment-room, and that the present refreshment-room should be made available as a tea-room and a newspaper-room—by which means would be concentrated under one roof on the left-hand side of the House the rooms set apart for Members exclusively, which they could have access to without passing through a public lobby—and that the rooms on the right-hand side of the House should be made available for more public use, and apartments should be provided in which Members might see their friends with more convenience than was at present possible. In this way he would draw a clear line of demarcation between the parts of the House that were private and those that were accessible to the public. At the same time, he concluded that, if it were possible to avoid it, no part of the permanent structure of the building ought to be pulled down. Submitting these views to intelligent officers of the Department, skilled in adapting public buildings to the wants of the day, he received plans showing how the desired changes could be made by simply pulling down party walls. That scheme he asked the House to refer to a Select Committee, which was done; and as the House of Lords had some claims on the conference-room, he communicated with the Committee of the Black Rod. That Committee desired that a room should be substituted for the conference-room, and that there should be a communication between the Lords' committee-rooms and the Commons' com- mittee-rooms. Against the latter proposal he felt it to be his duty to protest, on the grounds of interference with the structure of the building, and with the convenience of hon. Members hurrying along the corridors to the House, as they were often called upon to do. The Committee of this House unanimously approved the scheme, and expressed no opinion on what concerned the House of Lords. Instead of requiring a new room in lieu of the conference-room the Committee of the Black Rod might have been content to take advantage of the enormous accommodation to be found in the House, but the Lords were entitled to express a judgment, and they insisted upon having a new room; and all he had to do was to submit the matter to the Government, who entered into communication with the Committee of the Black Rod. The result was, it was agreed that a new committee-room, should be erected, though not in such a way as to interfere injuriously with the structure of the building; and the Committee of the Black Rod made a Report adopting the plans which had been submitted to this House. He had suggested that there should be, what everyone desired, a joint service in respect to the refreshment-rooms for both Houses, which should consist of three rooms; but the Lords declined to participate in that arrangement, and determined to continue the occupation of their separate refreshment-room, although, singularly enough, they had made a Report on the kitchen arrangements of the House of Commons. But, inasmuch as the Report was based on a not very accurate knowledge of the facts of the case, it was not necessary to refer more particularly to it. With respect to other matters they were of a comparatively minor kind, and were arranged on the same principle of not making any serious inroad on the permanent structure. An additional room now used for another purpose would be appropriated for providing additional accommodation in connection with the Ladies' Gallery, which would prevent the ladies visiting the House being so cramped as at present. A refreshment-room would be provided for the reporters by appropriating a portion of the building not used for any other purpose. Those gentlemen were at present subjected to great inconvenience and annoyance, being obliged to take their refreshments in a small and inconvenient room, in which they had to carry on their very useful duties. It was also proposed that there should be a better access to the strangers' refreshment-room. A sum of money was asked for in order to complete the arrangements of the iron gates at the landing-place at the north end of the building, the arrangement at the steps leading from Westminster Bridge to the arcade, and for altering the windows at the end of the division lobbies of the House of Commons, in order to meet the complaints of want of air which some hon. Gentlemen had made with regard to those lobbies. Another proposal was to make an alteration in one of the windows of the smoking-room. There was felt to be great inconvenience in having windows out of which no one could look on sitting down. It was, therefore, proposed to alter the central window of the smoking-room; and, if that experiment succeeded, it might be repeated on the other windows. He hoped, for the sake of the general convenience which the arrangements would effect, the Committee would not object to the Vote. The right hon. Gentleman concluded by moving that a sum of £10,170 be granted for the purposes he had mentioned.

said, he rose to move the reduction of the Vote by the sum of £7,000 odd. He felt bound, after the extraordinary statements made by the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down, to traverse some of the allegations contained in that statement. The right hon. Gentleman had always been known as the possessor of a strong imagination; but he had now taken a very high flight, and asserted himself to be the entire inventor of this plan for the improvement of the Houses of Parliament. According to his own statement, the right hon. Gentleman himself had done everything, Mr. Barry nothing; but that assertion had no foundation in fact. No doubt, Mr. Barry did, in 1863, suggest a plan for enlarging the refreshment-room by altering the walls of the present structure; but that plan was not adopted, and Mr. Barry afterwards maintained the best plan would be to secure the conference-room and the tea-room for the purpose. There could be no doubt that the plan, as ultimately presented to the House, was entirely Mr. Barry's, and was part of the plan which was laid before the Committee of the right hon. Member for Newcastle (Mr. Headlam), in 1867. In all the proceedings of that Committee, and in the correspondence which took place upon it, the plan was recognized and acknowledged as Mr. Barry's; and he could not understand how the right hon. Gentleman could now calmly appropriate it in this way, without one word of acknowledgment to its real author. It was preposterous to say that, because, some years ago, the right hon. Gentleman had made a similar suggestion, therefore the whole merit of the plan belonged to him. The contrary of his statement was proved by the Kitchen Committee of 1867, who reported as follows:—

"Mr. Barry has now suggested a plan for improving the accommodation by converting the present conference and adjoining rooms into a large dining-room for both Houses of Parliament, in lieu of the present separate dining-rooms; and they are of opinion that this plan is preferable to any yet produced before your Committees."
In 1868 Mr. Barry was instructed to prepare a plan in accordance with this Report, and the proposal for the dining-room on the ground-floor was the result of the objection on the part of the House of Lords to give up the conference-room, which objection of course rendered a new arrangement necessary. But Mr. Barry met this objection by proposing to give the Lords a new room in the space beyond the lower waiting-hall, which the Commissioner of Works now intended to take, and this plan was approved by the Lords' Committee last year and also by the Kitchen Committee of the Commons, who, on the 12th May, 1869, reported that—
"They saw with satisfaction that in the new plans of Mr. Barry it is proposed to adopt the original proposition of converting the present tearoom and conference-room into dining-rooms."
In July, 1869, Mr. Barry, by the direction of the Lords' Committee, sent a plan and also a letter to the Office of Works. He (Mr. Bentinck) had moved for these documents; but the letter was not forthcoming, as it fully established the facts he alleged, though no one could dispute their accuracy. On the 9th of August the Commons' Committee appointed to consider "a joint service for both Houses," reported. Mr. Barry was examined before that Committee, and as he had received insufficient instruction, he was only able to say that the covering estimate for the whole work would be about £22,000; but then it must be remembered that this estimate comprised more than double the works now contemplated—a fact carefully concealed from the House by the First Commissioner; and nothing could be more unfair than to say that the Commons' Committee of last year decided the plans to be unsatisfactory, because their Report merely stated that they were not prepared to recommend to the House that so considerable an outlay should be made at once, but thought the subject should be deferred until next year. Mr. Barry continued to be recognized as architect during Mr. Layard's tenure of office; but the instant the right hon. Gentleman succeeded he reversed the policy of all his predecessors, and put into practice the fixed idea which possessed him that the worst man to be employed in these works was the man who knew what he was about. The right hon. Gentleman replied upon the Report of the Committee of May last upon his plan; but this Report was wholly defective for want of evidence. Two witnesses only were called, and they were both officials of the Office of Works. Mr. Barry was not summoned, or he would have shown how his plan had been stolen, how his estimates had been grossly misrepresented, how he could have done the present work for £6,000, and also the patent defects of the First Commissioner's plan. But the right hon. Gentleman had made a most egregious blunder by not examining before the Committee a single witness connected with a refreshment department, either there or in any other place, or who knew how to serve a dinner, and the result was that no satisfactory kitchen service could by any possibility take place under the proposed arrangements, and it was manifest that the subject required reconsideration. The Reports of the Committees of the House of Lords of this Session advocated and confirmed all his (Mr. Bentinck's) objections; and, though the Lords had agreed to accept the new conference - room, they had not withdrawn anyone of their unanswerable objections to the scheme. But if common sense and expediency did not demand the employment of Mr. Barry, the Government were bound to this by their own declaration. On the 13th of May, the Chancellor of the Exchequer had expressed an opinion that Mr. Barry ought to be employed on architectural works in the House; and how could he retreat from that position with honour in the case in point, where main architectural features of the House were proposed to be obliterated and altered. The architectural objections to this scheme were: — 1st, that the lower waiting hall would be entirely destroyed in effect by cutting off the branch which intersected the corridor; 2nd, that the continuity of the corridor, one of the main principles of the building, would be permanently interrupted; 3rd, that the new conference-room, which was to be architectural in character, was supported upon columns in the court below, carrying a projection of above 11 feet, and darkening all the rooms below. It was manifest that such works could not be properly executed by obscure clerks, but only by a competent architect. The practical objections were, if possible, even more serious. The kitchen was small, and ill ventilated; and it was impossible the kitchen service could be carried out, the kitchen being only 90 feet from the serving-room, which, according to the testimony of the managers of two of the largest clubs in London, would render it impossible to dine 50 or 60 gentlemen who might rush in for dinner on a busy night. The place where the dinners would all be brought up he proposed to construct out of an elaborate Gothic porch, which would bring all the dinners of the House into a place where there was neither light nor air, the effect of which would certainly be to create unpleasant odours and intense heat. Then he proposed that the bar should protrude into the room itself. But it was impossible to have wines and liquors served properly in such a place, because there was no air, and the heat would be too great. A place for wines had been entirely forgotten. Now, it was absolutely necessary, where wines might be called for in a hurry, to have the place in which they were kept on the same floor as the dining-room. Apart entirely from æsthetics, this plan would not do. The best thing for his right hon. Friend to do would be to leave out the item, and let the matter be considered next year. The so-called Liberal party invariably had an official to "meddle and to muddle." Lord Russell used to fulfil this function; but the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Ayrton) had taken his place with great aptitude and effect. He begged to move the omission of the Vote, in order that the question of rearrangement of the refreshment-rooms should be more fully considered.

Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That the Item of £7,160, for the Re-arrangement of the Refreshment Department, and for Alterations connected therewith, on the Basement and Principal Floors, and for the Erection of a Committee Room for the use of the House of Lords, with Entrances thereto from the Peers Corridors, he omitted from the proposed Vote."—(Mr. Bentinck.)

said, the Motion raised two questions—the treatment which had been dealt out to Mr. Barry, and the increased accommodation the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Ayrton) proposed to give to the House by his present plan. He (Mr. Baillie Cochrane) had a very slight acquaintance with Mr. Barry, and was, generally speaking, no great admirer of the architecture of the Houses of Parliament; but he (Mr. Baillie Cochrane) must say that although the building did not please him, it was yet a great work, and he could not help thinking that the son of the architect had been treated with something like ingratitude. The right hon. Gentleman had certainly not treated Mr. Barry properly, for he practically took his plan, and after the manner of gipsies who kidnapped children, defaced it in order that it should not be known. He (Mr. Baillie Cochrane) contended that Mr. Barry had great cause of complaint in being removed from his position; for though he had only about £180 a year for giving advice, he had the satisfaction of feeling that he was associated with the Houses of Parliament which his father had built, and he regarded his position as a testimony of respect to the memory of his father. All these matters should not be looked at exclusively from a money point of view; but the right hon. Gentleman had no sympathy with such feelings. His hon. Friend (Mr. Bentinck) had referred to a Committee on which he (Mr. Baillie Cochrane) sat in 1868. That Committee recommended that a large amount should be spent on rearranging the House, and for £130,000 they would have had a place worthy of the House of Commons. But no, they would go on in the old way, squandering money by false economy, and he believed that the course which the right hon. Gentleman proposed to adopt would show once more how easy it was to dribble away large sums of public money by false economy, to the inconvenience and disappointment of all concerned. It was the case of the Serpentine over again. As his hon. Friend (Mr. Bentinck) had said, they were about to bring all their cooking in where there would be no ventilation, and the continuity of corridor would be broken; and he believed if the plan, which was a thoroughly bad one, was carried out, they would have the smell of cooking all over the House.

said, he regretted that his right hon. Friend (Mr. Ayrton) had unnecessarily introduced the name of Mr. Barry into the discussion, and compared his own skill in architecture with that of the son of the builder of that house. So far as the plan was Mr. Barry's it was good, and wherein it differed it was wrong. It seemed to him (Mr. Cowper-Temple) especially faulty in the distance between the kitchen and the refreshment-room. If they looked at the details they would see that Mr. Barry's estimate, taking into account the much larger amount of work, which on the recommendation of the Committee he was to perform, was as low as that of the right hon. Gentleman. He hoped that the right hon. Gentleman would get rid of those portions of his plan to which objection was justly taken, and that in particular he would take care that the intended refreshment-room should be conveniently constructed and properly ventilated.

said, that those who like himself were of opinion that Mr. Barry had already been badly treated, certainly could not be induced to regard with much favour a scheme which did that architect still farther injustice. The plan which the Kitchen Committee requested Mr. Barry to make ought to be called not Mr. Barry's plan, nor the plan of the Kitchen Committee, but the plan of Mr. Alderman Cubitt, a very excellent judge, no doubt, of what was required. As to the charge that Mr. Barry threw over the excellent design which he (Lord John Manners) first started of dining-rooms on the same floor as the House of Commons, and invented a more costly plan, putting them on the basement floor, the right hon. Gentleman must know that was not Mr. Barry's plan. But when the House of Lords declined to give up the Painted Chamber, Mr. Barry had to find some other mode of accomplishing the end in view. He noticed that the right hon. Gentleman treated the claim of the House of Lords to the Painted Chamber in a very cavalier manner. But the fact was, the House of Lords from the beginning were in possession of the Painted Chamber, and they stated plainly that they would not give it up unless they got a convenient committee-room in its stead. He regretted that Mr. Barry's plan had been departed from. True, it would cost more than that of the right hon. Gentleman; but then it should be remembered that it was a far larger, more complete, and more suitable plan. Moreover, it was one which included accommodation for the House of Lords as well as the House of Commons; whereas the scheme now proposed was only designed for the accommodation of the House of Commons. If, therefore, the new scheme were carried out, and should it afterwards be proposed to alter it, so as to include dining-rooms for the Lords, much additional expense would be incurred. His opinion was that the best thing to do would be to carry out a perfect and comprehensive improvement, instead of always making alterations, and that that would save money in the long run. He protested against the dismissal of Mr. Barry, and the handing over to other men the works designed by him; and he further protested against the Houses of Parliament being pulled about and altered by gentlemen who, however trustworthy and eminent in their profession, were not professed and skilled architects. He trusted that whatever works were agreed upon would be executed in a proper architectural style, under the superintendence and upon the responsibility of a competent, skilled architect.

said, he was afraid that that Vote was only the beginning of troubles. He concurred with the preceding speaker in thinking it essential, in matters like that before them, to have the assistance of a man of acknowledged architectural skill and taste. A high professional authority had characterized the changes now proposed in that great building as "barbarous;" and, in his own opinion, patchwork alterations of that sort were invariably the most costly in the end. Without negativing the Vote, however, he would recommend its postponement, and that the Government should do nothing till next Session.

said, he also thought it might be advisable, under all the circumstances, not to proceed with the Vote at present. He had been a member of the two Committees which had been mentioned. The Committee, the year before last, came to the unanimous opinion that the plan and estimate proposed by Mr. Barry ought not to be sanctioned; but the second Committee allowed the plan which the right hon. Gentleman declared that he was prepared, with the sanction of the Government, to carry out at less expense, to pass. At the same time, he agreed with his noble Friend (Lord John Manners) in thinking that, in regard to a building which they hoped would be a credit to the country for ages to come, any alterations that were decided upon should be made upon the best skilled authority they could obtain.

said, having served on the right hon. Member for Newcastle's two House of Commons Arrangements Committees, he claimed for Mr. Barry the credit of originating the idea of utilizing the conference-room, and must deny to the right hon. Gentleman the First Commissioner of Works the title of being the inventor and patentee of it. Mr. Barry's estimate of £24,000 included, besides the new dining-room, a series of extensive changes, which were, in reality, a fragment of the valuable scheme originally propounded by the right hon. Member for Newcastle (Mr. Headlam), and therefore it was not fair to quote that large sum as an argument against the dining-room plan propounded by the eminent architect in question. A Committee, which was wrong in its measurements by as much as 30 feet, had hastily recommended the carrying out, at a smaller expense, of an arrangement which would produce a most uncomfortable eating-house, and spoil the architecture of the building; but there was still time to remedy the mischief. He trusted the right hon. Gentleman would yield to the unanimous expression of opinion on both sides of the House and withdraw the present scheme.

said, he did not concur in that wish. He hoped that hon. Members, who had been complaining for years of the want of accommodation, would act on the unanimous recommendation of a Committee, to whom the matter had been referred.

said, he hoped the House would put a stop to interminable discussions on the subject. He was sick of hearing so much about architects. He would support the scheme proposed by the Office of Works.

said, that in regard to the serving from the kitchen, this scheme would challenge comparison with any other, for the communication would be in the centre of the room, instead of at one end.

said, that, according to the right hon. Gentleman's own plan, the kitchen was 90 feet from the lift. He understood Mr. Barry's plan would afford a room very similar to that at the Reform Club; so that hon. Members who belonged to that club could readily form an idea of what convenience the proposed room was likely to afford.

Question put, and negatived.

Original Question put, and agreed to.

(2.) £21,674, to complete the sum for Royal Palaces.

(3.) £80,437, to complete the sum for Royal Parks.

said, that two years ago it was proposed to replace the wooden paling in Regent's Park by an iron railing, and now it was proposed to pull down the iron railing, so that the result would be that the Park would be left without any railing at all. He would suggest that it might be as well to allow the iron railing to remain round the particular enclosure where it now stood, even if the right hon. Gentleman should not think it necessary to continue a similar railing round other enclosures.

said, he wished to ask whether it was contemplated to cut down any trees in the vicinity of those trees which the intervention of the House had prevented from being cut down?

called attention to a promise made by the First Commissioner of Works last Session to improve the present desolate appearance of the north side of Kensington Gardens by fresh planting, and further pointed out the desirability of placing more drinking fountains in the public Parks for the use of the poorer classes.

said, that to have plenty of water to drink was a good thing; but there was a proposal last year to establish a beer-shop in Victoria Park, and that he protested against. He hoped the First Commissioner would not allow such a thing.

said, with respect to the iron railing in Regent's Park, it was found that £35,000 would be required to complete it entirely, and as the general feeling among the residents in Regent's Park was in favour of the old rustic wood paling, he thought it better not to complete the iron railing for the small enclosure, as to do that would have cost £2,500, but to restore the wooden paling at an expense of £100. With regard to the trees in Hyde Park which had been alluded to, one plan proposed was to have no trees in the neighbourhood of the Prince Consort's memorial, so that it might stand out plainly, and be seen in all its beauty. That was the idea of a committee of architects, who had considered the subject; but as it might not seem satisfactory to those who looked at the matter from a horticultural point of view, a compromise was come to—it was arranged that only a sufficient number of trees should be removed to allow of the public seeing the memorial. No one would desire such an outrage on common sense perpetrated as that that magnificent work should be obscured by plantations of trees, and it was, therefore, proposed to remove those trees which stood in the way of a view of the memorial. The exact details of the plan had not yet been settled; but the greatest care would be taken to add to the general effect of the monument; and the trees would be replanted in close proximity to their present site. With regard to the north side of the Park, he could not hold out any hope of large expenditure at present, while he was dealing with the south side, which required it more; but he was quite ready to admit that the fountains ought to be sufficiently supplied with water, and if there was any deficiency in that respect, he would do what he could to meet the public requirements. As to beer, he thought its sale within the Park was not a thing to be desired. People who wanted it might go out of the Park to get it.

said, he would suggest that the number of fountains in the Parks might well be increased. The visitors at present complained that they were frequently unable to obtain a drink of cold water.

said, he wished to know what had become of the colonnade removed from Burlington House? It was understood that it would be re-erected on some suitable spot as a public decoration.

said, that he believed the colonnade—or more accurately the gateway—in question existed—at least the remains or ruins of it—somewhere in Battersea Park. He had no present intention of disturbing them. If the hon. Member (Mr. Beresford Hope) would only mind what was written upon it when the gateway was first put up, he would not be so anxious to have it re-erected, at least in any place where it could be seen.

said, he hoped that the First Commissioner would promise that the colonnade would not at any rate be broken up to repair the roads. The right hon. Gentleman was quite mistaken in calling it a gateway, and was evidently ignorant of the understanding come to at the time when Burlington House was pulled down. The colonnade was specially exempted from the sale of building materials, and it was most undoubtedly the intention of Mr. Layard, who had more than once spoken to him about it, that it should be re-erected. He hoped the First Commissioner would give him some assurance that the colonnade should be preserved.

Vote agreed to.

(4.) £83,807, to complete the sum for Public Buildings.

(5.) £11,700, to complete the sum for Furniture of Public Offices.

(6.) £22,587, to complete the sum for the Houses of Parliament.

said, he wished to know whether the decoration of the Central Hall would be continued and finished in the same style in which it had been begun?

said, he wished to ask, whether a better system of ventilating the House could not be secured by opening more of the windows above? During the last fortnight almost every hon. Member had suffered extremely from the heated air whenever the House was full; and there was no medium between the oppressive atmosphere on the floor of the House and the strong currents of air that were being continually forced through the galleries.

said, the item of gas and fuel for the two Houses showed a very large increase, which required explanation.

said, with regard to the Central Hall, after the first mosaic was placed in, it became necessary to consider the question of cost and of the general effect of extending that system of decoration. It was evident that mosaics could only be mechanical copies of the works of others; whereas the strongest opinions had been expressed that the embellishment of the Houses of Parliament ought to be made a means of encouraging original work of art of the highest order. The Royal Commissioners, also, had unequivocally condemned the adoption of any glazed surface in the ornamentation of the Palace. He had, therefore, invited the artists who had already taken part in decorating the walls to meet and examine all the Reports of the Royal Commissioners, and to give him the benefit of their views upon the subject, among these artists being Mr. Poynter, the gentleman by whom the design for the mosaic had been painted. Those gentlemen unanimously concurred in thinking that it was not desirable to continue the system of mosaic decoration, at all events until a number of professional points which they suggested had been thoroughly examined and solved to their satisfaction; and to enable them to prosecute their inquiry they asked for certain assistance. The Government approved of that view of the matter, and had sanctioned the requisite expenditure for that purpose; and he thought the Committee would agree with him that it was far better that thoroughly competent artists should deal with this question, than that it should be left to the decision of any Commission, however distinguished its members might be. With regard to the question of gas, no doubt the gas was a great expense; but his Department were exerting themselves to bring it down as low as possible. The question of improved ventilation would be met by the proposal to increase the number of windows.

said, he wished to understand a little more than he did what were the right hon. Gentleman's views with regard to the mosaic decorations in the Central Hall. If he did not proceed further with these mosaics, would he remove that which already existed; or were they to have mosaics on one side of the Hall and frescoes on the other?

said, he would be guided by the opinion of the artists to whom he had referred.

said, he must ask the right hon. Gentleman to tell the House the name of the artists as an indication of the value of their report? He had already named Mr. Poynter; but who were the others?

said, he wished to know whether the plate-glass put in front of some of the frescoes had the effect of preserving them; and, if so, whether it was intended to apply some protection to the other pictures?

said, it was intended, whenever it was necessary, to apply glass to the other frescoes. As to the question of the hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Beresford Hope), he had not a list of the artists with him, but they had all been concerned in the wall-paintings of the Palace.

said, he wished to call the attention of Her Majesty's Government to the expediency of repaying to the metropolitan police rate from Imperial taxation the amount now paid for the police in charge (internally) of the Houses of Parliament. The rate for the police employed about the building was only £429, while the cost to the public was £3,983. Now if there was any duty that might be called an Imperial duty, it was the protection and preservation of that House, and he protested against the unfairness of so much of the cost being thrown upon local taxation.

said, he did not understand the objection of the hon. Member. It was true the House did not pay police rates; but it paid its own police, so that it did the very thing the hon. Gentleman complained of them for not doing. If the hon. Gentleman wished to raise any question on the general incidence of taxation, he must do it when the general police rate was under discussion.

said, he admitted that the House did pay a portion of its policemen; his objection was that it did not pay the whole.

Vote agreed to.

(7.) £12,500, to complete the sum for the Public Offices Site.

(8.) £24,083, to complete the sum for the Public Record Repository.

(9.) £4,395, to complete the sum for the Chapter House, Westminster.

said, he wished for an explanation. There was no contract of the work to be done. The work went on bit by bit, and no party seemed definitely to have charge of it.

said, he had over and over again called attention to this Vote. He wanted to know when the work was to stop, and what was to be done with the building when finished?

said, he had caused the work to be carefully estimated, and it was found that for the sum of £30,480 the shell of the building would be completed—that is, it would be covered in, and glazed, and made water-tight. But, of course, there would be no decoration. When it had arrived at that stage it would be for the House to consider whether it should continue to be maintained by the public or be handed over to some public body.

Vote agreed to.

(10.) £10,067, to complete the sum for Sheriff Court Houses, Scotland.

(11.) £11,200, to complete the sum for the University of London Buildings.

(12.) £13,250, to complete the sum for Glasgow University Buildings.

(13.) £6,500, to complete the sum for the Extension of Industrial Museum, Edinburgh.

(14.) £36,000, to complete the sum for Burlington House.

said, the Vote had been increased by £15,000 from last year, in consequence of further purchases. He wished to know whether any more purchases would be required?

said, the purchase in question had been made as the best mode of treating the difficulties which arose, claims having been made for obstructing lights, and so forth. That was the only purchase necessary, and it was in the hands of the Crown, and would be turned to good account.

Vote agreed to.

(15.) £101,648, to complete the sum for the Post Office and Inland Revenue Buildings.

(16.) £9,774, to complete the sum for the British Museum Buildings.

said, he wished to ask how far it was necessary, considering how valuable the space in such a quarter was, that the officers of the Museum should live within the area of the building? They might easily live on the opposite side of the street.

said, he would suggest that the stores contained in the Museum which had never yet, for want of accommodation, been exhibited to the public, might be advantageously lent to the different Universities of the three kingdoms, and to the large towns of the country.

said, these were questions relating to the administration of the British Museum, which could be better discussed on the British Museum Vote. He agreed that the less the number of residents on the site, the less risk there would be to the contents.

Vote agreed to.

(17.) £40,762, to complete the sum for County Courts, Buildings.

(18.) £80,100, to complete the sum for Survey of the United Kingdom.

said, he thought that greater facilities should be given to the public for the purchase of the Ordnance Survey maps.

said, the surveys were made on an arbitrary principle, some districts being considerably favoured, while others were neglected, and he should like some information as to how they were managed.

said, the surveys were not so well managed as they might have been under the Army; but they had now been transferred to the Office of Works, and it was hoped they would now be better managed.

said, the survey was unnecessary, as there was already a map of the whole of England showing every field made for the tithe survey. The money the surveys cost was a very large amount, and a private map-maker would do the work for half the sum with quite as much accuracy, considering that the important part of the work was finished, and that all that remained to be done was the enlargement and reducing of maps.

said, he hoped the six-inch map would be completed, as it was of great service for agricultural and other purposes. While Ireland and Scotland had been mapped on the six-inch scale, the interior part of England had not been surveyed.

said, the public found difficulty in purchasing the maps, and he thought that greater facilities should be given for their sale.

said, the survey had been very expensive, costing about £1,500,000 in 10 years; but the maps produced had been of very great value. The subject would be considered during the Recess, and he should be able to state next Session the exact mode of proceeding.

Vote agreed to.

(19.) £7,600, Enlargement of Marlborough House.

(20.) £28,199, to complete the sum for Harbours, &c. under the Board of Trade.

(21.) £2,380, to complete the sum for Portland Harbour.

(22.) £6,500, to complete the sum for the Metropolitan Fire Brigade.

(23.) £23,913, to complete the sum for Rates on Government Property.

(24.) Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That a sum, not exceeding £99,542, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1871, for the Erection, Repairs, and Maintenance of the several Public Buildings in the Department of the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland."

Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That a sum, not exceeding £97,542, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1871, for the Erection, Repairs, and Maintenance of the several Public Buildings in the Department of the Commissioners of Public Works in Irelrnd."—(Mr. Lusk.)

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Original Question put, and agreed, to.

(25.) £3,500, to complete the sum for the Ulster Canal.

(26.) £10,010, to complete the sum for Lighthouses Abroad.

(27.) £1,722, to complete the sum for Embassy Houses Abroad.

said, he must complain of the great expense of keeping up that at Paris, though he admitted that it was less than during the last two or three years.

said, that the whole matter was examined by a Committee last year, and the expenditure was declared to be satisfactory.

Vote agreed to.

(28.) £41,610, to complete the sum for Embassy Houses, &c, Constantinople, China, Japan, and Tehran.

said, that since 1840 the Embassy Houses at Pera had cost about £200,000 for building alone, independently of several thousands a year for repairs.

said, there was no explanation as to the £48,000 asked for China and Japan.

said, he regretted that the house at Constantinople had not been entirely destroyed. He hoped that it would not be determined to rebuild it without consulting Parliament.

said, it was not. He might add that the site was one which had the advantage of very cool air. They had sent Major Crawson to Constantinople, and he reported that the walls of the building were almost entire. Of course, they would have come to the House if they determined to rebuild.

Vote agreed to.

(29.) Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That a sum, not exceeding £4,231, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1871, for the Salaries of the Officers and Attendants of the Household of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and other Expenses."

said, he would move the reduction of the Vote by the sum of £1,562 for Queen's Plates.

Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That the Item of £1,562 for Queen's Plates, be omitted from the proposed Vote."—(Mr. Rylands.)

said, he thought the Queen's Plates were an institution that should not now be interfered with.

said, that having done away with Queen's Plates in Scotland, he did not see how they could vote money for them in Ireland.

said, he considered that the time had arrived for abolishing mock royalty in Ireland.

said, he objected to public money being appropriated for such purposes as horse-racing. He did not believe in the argument that the system improved the breed of horses, for race-horses were only exaggerated greyhounds; while our hunting horses, cattle, and sheep were the finest in the world.

said, he consented on Friday to the omission of the Vote for Queen's Plates in Scotland, in deference to the opinion of the Members for Scotland; but as there had been no demonstration against this Vote on the part of the majority of the Irish Members, he could not consistently consent to reduce it.

said, he would remind the House that many of our best horses came from Ireland.

said, as an Irish Member, he considered that Vote worthy of the support of the House. Nearly the whole of the cavalry was supplied with horses by Ireland.

said, he would support the Vote, and must observe that the opposition would be regarded by many persons in Ireland as a fling at that country.

Question put.

The Committee divided: — Ayes 61; Noes 81: Majority 20.

Original Question put, and agreed to.

(30.) Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That a sum, not exceeding £17,746, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1871, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Offices of the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in Dublin and London, and Subordinate Departments."

Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."—(Sir James Elphinstone.)

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Original Question put, and agreed to.

(31.) £250, to complete the sum for Boundary Survey, Ireland.

(32.) £43, to complete the sum for the Charitable Donations and Bequests Office, Ireland.

(33.) £13,130, to complete the sum for the General Register Office, Ireland.

(34.) £65,522, to complete the sum for the Poor Law Commission, Ireland.

(35.) £2,992, to complete the sum for the Public Record Office, Ireland, &c.

(36.) Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That a sum, not exceeding £17,730, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1871, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Office of Public Works in Ireland."

Whereupon Motion made, and Question proposed,

"That a sum, not exceeding £16,530, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1871, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Office of Public Works in Ireland."—(Mr. Bentinck.)

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Original Question put, and agreed to.

House resumed.

Resolutions to be reported To-morrow, at Two of the clock;

Committee to sit again To-morrow, at Two of the clock.