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Trafalgar Square Memorials

Volume 437: debated on Monday 5 May 1947

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asked the Minister of Works what progress has been made with the Jellicoe and Beatty memorials.

The House resolved in 1935 and 1936 that memorials should be erected to the late Admirals Lord Jellicoe and Lord Beatty, and my predecessors made considerable progress with a scheme incorporating busts of the Admirals as features of reconstructed fountains in Trafalgar Square. When work was suspended on the outbreak of war, new inner basins of Portland stone had already been erected to the designs of Sir Edwin Lutyens, and shortly after the sculptors, Messrs. Wheeler and McMillan, completed the bronze groups of statuary and the busts, which have since been shown at the Royal Academy. I now propose to carry the scheme to completion. I wish to make one alteration and to place the busts on pedestals against the North wall of the Square. To this the Royal Fine Art Commission have agreed.

Encouraged by the Minister's reply, may I ask him if, in the course of the work, it will be possible to improve the general appearance of Trafalgar Square?

Yes, Sir. In addition to dealing with the busts concerned, I am proposing to try to introduce some colour into the Square by flowering shrubs and plants at the foot of the North wall. I propose, in order to improve the setting of the memorials, and to give unity to the Square, to remove the pedestal of the Gordon statue which is at present there, and to find other accommodation for General Gordon. I am also taking this opportunity of wiring the fountains, so as to melt the possibility of eventual floodlighting, and of installing permanent connections in the Square for sound amplification to be used at public meetings.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that he deserves very high marks for the way in which he has treated the gallant admirals, and for putting King Charles I back on his pedestal?

Will the right hon. Gentleman ensure that His Majesty's Government, having disbanded the Nelson pension, will dot remove the Nelson Column?

When re-arranging Trafalgar Square, will the right hon. "Gentleman give a pair of stirrups to King George IV, who has done without them for a very long time?