HC Deb 15 June 1860 vol 159 cc518-9

said, he rose to ask the First Commissioner of Works what arrangements have been made since the lamented death of Sir Charles Barry to complete the Houses of Parliament and the adjacent buildings; and whether there is any plan left by Sir Charles Barry for the completion of the whole, on which it is intended to proceed. During the lifetime of the late Sir Charles Barry various steps were taken more or less ineffectually, in order to ascertain when the Houses of Parliament would be finally completed. Like the clock just alluded to by the hon. Member for Peterborough, the Houses, commencing at an estimate of £750,000 had already cost the nation £2,400,000. Now, at the death of Sir Charles Barry it became an object of special interest to the public to know whether the works wore completed; if not, how much remained to be done; and what would be the extra cost. He also wished to know who was the person deputed, or to be deputed, to carry out any additional works which had been projected by Sir Charles Barry. It was generally understood that Sir Charles Barry had prepared plans, not merely for the completion of the Houses, but other plans of an extensive nature for improving the neighbourhood, including the removal of the Courts of law, the formation of the approaches to the bridge, and of a quadrangle in New Palace Yard, and other alterations. He wished to know whether the Government were in possession of Sir Charles Barry's plans for those improvements; and if so whether they were prepared to act upon them? Another question he wished to ask was this: It was well known that a short time previous to Sir Charles Barry's death a misunderstanding existed—a misunderstanding of very long continuance—as to the rate and mode of remuneration for his services; and he wished to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether that misunderstanding had been finally arranged, and if so upon what terms? He would also ask whether arrangements had been entered into with the person who had been appointed to succeed Sir Charles Barry and complete any works that remained, which would not be subject to the like misunderstanding; and whether the Government had agreed with that individual for the final and total completion of all works at present unfinished connected with the Houses of Parliament?