§ MR. MUNDELLA
I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether, in proposing to give the large plot of ground opposite the Normal School of Science at South Kensington for a Gallery of British Art, the Government had fully considered the difficulties of interpolating an Art Gallery under an independent management between portions of the Science School and the Science Collections of the Science and Art Department, and the future requirements of the Science Museum and the extension of the Science School, especially in view of the recent great development of technical education, owing to the Local Taxation (Customs and Excise) Act of last Session, with the demand for teachers caused thereby; and whether the Government would appoint a small Committee to report on the matter? I apologise for the form in which the question appears, for which, however, I am not responsible.
§ MR. W. H. SMITH
In assigning as a site for a Gallery of British Art the plot of land opposite the Royal College of Science the Government have not overlooked the requirements, immediate or prospective, of the Science and Art Department, either in respect of its Science Collections or in respect of the additional accommodation required for the College of Science. For the Science Collections there will be available, part at once and part within a year or two, a continuous range of galleries, consisting of the present southern, western, and eastern galleries, and the cross gallery which is about to be constructed between the western and eastern galleries, thus affording more than the amount of accommodation which the Committee of 1889 considered to be necessary. Over and above this accommodation, Government has at disposal more than three acres of vacant land facing the Imperial Institute, and considerable areas besides to the 689 south of the present southern galleries. A portion of these vacant lands can be utilised for the extension of the College of Science and for future growth of the Science Collections. Additions to the College of Science must in any case take the form of a separate building, divided from the present building by Exhibition Road; and as access to the lands mentioned above from Exhibition Road will be secured by means of a corridor, the interposition of the Gallery of British Art need have no more serious effect than to increase by some 60 yards (which will be under cover) the distance between the two portions of the Science College. As the Art Gallery will be a distinct and separate building, the fact that it will be under different management need cause no greater difficulty than does the fact that the Natural History Museum is under a different management from that of the adjoining science galleries.