§ SIR JOHN SHELLEY
said, he would beg to ask the Chief Commissioner of Works, Whether it is true that it is in contemplation to expend between £20,000 and £30,000 on temporary buildings for the Foreign Office at or near to No. 8, Spring Gardens, and whether the Clerk of the Parliaments has in consequence received notice to quit that house; also, whether it is the intention of the Chief Commissioner to carry out the proposal announced by Lord John Manners when 1106 Chief Commissioner of Works—namely, to cause the plan of the architect and the estimates for the re-building of the Foreign Office to be exhibited in the Library, for the inspection of Members of the House of Commons, before any proceeding is taken or any money is expended? He protested against any expenditure under this head being reserved for No. 7 set of Votes, for he believed that had the vote for cleansing the Serpentine been proposed earlier in the Session the House would never have sanctioned it. It would be remembered that Mr. Gilbert Scott had been selected as the Gothic architect for the construction of a new Foreign Office. The noble Lord (Viscount Palmerston) had pronounced strongly against the Gothic style, but Mr. Scott had, nevertheless, he believed, been continued as architect. Under these circumstances he thought the House ought to have an opportunity of seeing what was proposed to be done before any money was laid out.
said, that some temporary accommodation must be found for the Foreign Departments during the time occupied in pulling down the existing Foreign Office and building up the new one; and a plan was under consideration by which the house occupied by the Clerk of the Parliaments would be used in conjunction with other houses for that purpose. Information on the subject had been communicated to the Clerk of the Parliaments but beyond that step nothing had as yet been decided. He could not think that a charge of this sort should be put into No. 1 Miscellaneous Estimates, instead of into No. 7. The ordinary expenditure that occurred every year was put in No. 1, and the things that would not occur again were put in another Estimate, in order that the two classes of expenditure might be separately considered. With respect to the style of architecture to be adopted for the new Foreign Office, be would remind the hon. Gentleman, that in the debate of last year the First Lord of the Treasury told the House, that before requiring any sum to be voted he would take care that the plan of the proposed building and the Estimates should be submitted to the House; and it was unnecessary to say that that promise would be fulfilled. He would rather not enter into any statement respecting the precise sum requisite to make the temporary buildings suitable for the purposes intended, because it must necessarily be a rough estimate.