The Marquess of Clnnricarde
then rose to move, that an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying Her Majesty to give directions for carrying into effect the recommendations contained in the last Report of the Committee on the New Houses of Parliament. It was necessary that this step should be taken in order to expedite the building. The Report stated that, with expedition, the Peers might meet in their new House after Easter in the ensuing Session.
The Duke of Buccleuch
hoped the words "as far as possible" would be introduced. For his part, he had some doubts as to the possibility of their getting admission into their new House next year.
must remind the House of the necessity of taking energetic steps in this matter. If they did not, they might not be in their new House for these 1954 seven years to come. Mr. Barry told them in 1836 that he would have their House prepared for them in three years. In 1840 he renewed the assurance. It was not his wish to say anything disrespectful of Mr. Barry, whose talents and abilities he admired and admitted; but without saying anything disrespectful, and without imputing to him that he was trying to deceive others, he must say that he had grossly deceived himself. At any rate, however, steps must be taken in order to prevent their being longer condemned to the hole in which they at present transacted their business. They had given up their own commodious House to the Commons, and it was all very well for the Commons to treat the matter placidly. It was a different thing, however, for their Lordships, who had to put up with their present miserable dungeon.
The Earl of Wicklow
also hoped that they would not have to jog through the next Session in their present "omnibus."
§ Lord Sudeley
observed, that eight years had now elapsed, and he believed even the drawings for some of the buildings were not complete. He thought that it was indeed time for their Lordships to exert themselves.
§ Lord Monteagle
understood that Mr. Barry had assigned as a reason for not completing the House of Lords that he had received no positive orders upon the subject. Now, it was perfectly understood that the Lords' House was to be completed first, and if Mr. Barry would not act without orders there was so much the more reason for throwing, by means of this Address, the responsibility upon the Government, who could give him orders. There was another point upon which, as this subject was under consideration, he might, take this opportunity of addressing a few words to their Lordships, He was strongly opposed to all lavish decoration, especially if such decoration would interfere with the erection of the building itself. Now, there were schemes on foot, he understood, for applying to all parts of these new Houses of Parliament all sorts of heraldic ornaments, frescoes, and geldings. Even the Committee-rooms were to be decorated in this way; and he must say, that anything in worse taste or less suited to the simple habits of the English, he could scarcely conceive possible. If they misapplied ornament, they must also misapply time 1955 and money, and he protested against going to such expense in works of this sort. Besides, he must further own, that he should be sorry to see English articles driven to supply works of art which at present they were unaccustomed to produce. The experience they derived from the exhibition of frescoes was not particularly favourable, and it would take some time, he feared, before British artists were qualified to produce in this line anything that was of a very superior order. With regard to the deviations from the original plan—there, no doubt, had been very important deviations, and he was glad to find that in no future instance was any deviation from the plan to be made, except under the authority and with the sanction of the Government. He was glad to hear, too, on the authority of the architect, that the deviations already made would not in any way invalidate the contract with the builders. He hoped that might prove to be the case.
§ Lord Wharncliffe
owned that he also should be sorry to see money wasted for the purpose of ornamenting mere Committee-rooms. He hoped they would not be obliged to wait until British artists were taught to paint frescoes. If they were, he feared they would have to wait some time.
§ Lord Sudeley
thought some of the deviations from the original design were disgraceful. He particularly alluded to the deviation from the original plan respecting the entrance.
§ Motion agreed to.