§ DR. FARQUHARSON (Aberdeenshire, W.)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, as representing the Postmaster General, whether, before the commission for designs for the new postage stamps was given to an Austrian artist, the advice of the President of the Royal Academy and the leaders of the artistic profession was obtained.
§ MR. ELLIS GRIFFITH (Anglesea)
May I at the same time ask the hon. Gentleman whether he can state who is responsible for entrusting the designs of the new postage stamps to a foreign artist, and whether an opportunity was afforded any other artist to submit designs; and, if not, what was the reason for such omission.
§ MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN
The responsibility for the designs of the new issue of stamps rests with the Postmaster General, who took the pleasure of His Majesty the King as to the portrait of His Majesty which should be used in the preparation of the designs. The portrait selected by His Majesty was executed only last year by a gentleman who has long been resident in London, and whose work deservedly enjoys a high reputation in this country. As the portrait was thought to be particularly well adapted for the purpose in question, it did not appear necessary to invite designs from any other artists. It was not thought necessary to consult the President of the Royal Academy or the leaders of the artistic profession on the subject, as the selection of the portrait to be used in the preparation of the designs was obviously a matter in which His Majesty's own wishes should carry most weight.