Orders of the Day — Parliament Square (Improvements) Bill

Lords Amendments considered.

Lords Amendment: In page 4, line 25, at end insert new Clause A.—(Restriction on use of Canning enclosure.) No part of the Canning enclosure within a distance of sixty-five feet from the existing main entrance to the Middlesex Guildhall shall be used as a public carriageway.

10.5 p.m.

Photo of Mr Charles Key

Mr Charles Key (Poplar Bow and Bromley)

I beg to move, "That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

The Amendment provides in different words for a proposal made by the Middlesex County Council and considered, when the scheme was being prepared, as a result of representations made by them, because plans were submitted to them at the same time as they were submitted to all other parties that were interested. The proposals of the Middlesex County Council have since been discussed by me with representatives of the Council, but I have not found it possible to agree to the suggestion which they have made.

The effect of this Amendment would be to set back the western boundary of the new road some nine feet, and doing that would involve one of three serious consequences. First, it might narrow the road by the amount of nine feet. If it did that, then it would violate one of the main purposes of this scheme, and that was the improvement of the traffic arrangements in Parliament Square; and the proposal, for that reason, was not acceptable either to the police or to the transport authorities. If it were not done that way and the road were still to maintain its present width, then the eastern side of the new road would have to be set back by a corresponding distance, and that would have very serious consequences in two ways.

First of all, the statues would have to be re-sited, and unless they were to be maintained under the trees—and it would be an entirely wrong thing to do, to site them under the trees—a wholly new scheme would have to be prepared to meet that arrangement. However, a far more serious consequence would be that certain of the trees that are being preserved in the scheme according to the way in which we have presented it, would be destroyed, and the life of the other trees would be seriously endangered, because carrying the roadway for a distance of nine feet nearer to their trunks than is being done would have very serious consequences for the roots of the trees.

A third way of carrying out the scheme as presented by the Middlesex County Council and this Amendment is a realignment of the south-western corner of the Square whilst retaining the northwestern corner in the position it is now. That would, first of all, put out of alignment altogether the whole scheme, which is now rectangular; but it would also have a grave effect on the appearance of the pavement inside the Square, which has been laid in line with the entrance to the Abbey, as appears from the other side. Moreover, the traffic authorities tell me that even doing it in that sort of way would have serious consequences upon the interweaving of the traffic in the Square, and would therefore not be so effective in making traffic movement easier, as is required if we are to get the proper movement of traffic there.

It is interesting to try to find out for what purpose this Amendment was put forward, because in another place no one who supported this Amendment gave any reason for making the Amendment. The only reason that has been put forward has been that the position of the road as indicated in the present plans would have the effect of increasing in the rooms of the Middlesex Guildhall the sound of the traffic outside. Acoustic experts of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research have carried out the necessary experiments with regard to this, and they have said that they are convinced by those experiments that the change proposed in the plans we have put forward will have a barely perceptible effect on the Guildhall.

The plans we propose involve the movement of the roadway 90 feet nearer to the Guildhall. Now, if the movement of the roadway 90 feet nearer to the Guildhall has a barely perceptible effect so far as sound is concerned, what will be the effect of putting the roadway only 81 feet nearer instead of the 90 feet involved in this scheme?—because that is the effect of this Amendment. In other words, the distance between the roadway and the Guildhall will be effected to the extent of only nine feet. In order to do that, which will have no effect for the Guildhall, a wholly new design would have to be prepared by the consultant architect; new discussions would have to be undertaken with the police transport authorities, the London County Council, the Westminster City Council and the Royal Fine Art Commission to get the whole scheme redesigned.

In addition to that, because of these things being done there would be a very serious postponement of the starting date of this scheme. I suggest that we could not risk the non-completion of this scheme by the opening date of the Festival of Britain in 1951. If we put it back in order that a new scheme might be worked out, it means that the whole of this scheme is to be lost, and the benefits that would come for traffic purposes for the Festival would be lost as well. Acceptance of this Amendment would mean no gain to the Middlesex County Council, destruction of a number of trees and endangering of the lives of other trees, the marring of the artistic lay-out of the scheme as prepared, and the retaining of traffic chaos during the Festival period. These are things we ought not to do, in the general interests of the improvement of Parliament Square, and for those reasons I ask this House to disagree with the Lords in this Amendment.

10.15 p.m.

Photo of Mr George Pargiter

Mr George Pargiter (Spelthorne)

I think that the Minister has made rather heavy weather of this matter, to say the least of it. Frankly, I do not think that the movement of the road by eight or nine feet would materially upset the scheme, or that it will make much difference if the statues have to be re-aligned in view of the fact that they have to be moved anyway. In my view, the only valid reason which the Minister has put forward is on the question of the trees. That does seem to me to be a serious proposition. If it were not for the trees, we might well ask for the road to be a good deal further away from the Guildhall than is proposed. The Middlesex objection is not a frivolous one.

Middlesex Guildhall has been established on its present site since 1800, and it must be borne in mind that the present improvement could not take place had it not been for the somewhat extravagant action of the Middlesex County Council in buying the Westminster House site to prevent a huge block of offices being put on it. That was after the L.C.C., now in favour of the new road, had given planning permission for the buildings to be put there. Those are things which we are entitled to remember. Therefore, it is not so frivolous when the Middlesex County Council say: "We did this in order to preserve the amenities of the Guildhall and of the Square." If this road is to be moved 90 ft. nearer to the Guildhall, then the consequent noise must increase.

The Department of Scientific and Industrial Research say that the volume of noise in certain terms is so much. One can always get experts to differ. The Middlesex County Council have an expert who differs from the experts of D.S.I.R. I think that we had better come back to the commonsense view that the moving of a heavy traffic road 90 ft. nearer to the Guildhall will materially increase the volume of sound in that building. Whether by moving it at one corner eight feet further back—81 ft. instead of 90 ft.—will make a material difference is open to some doubt. It will have the tendency to throw the traffic further away from the Guildhall on the radius of the Canning enclosure and thereby to some extent minimise the amount of noise.

I want to come back to the particular point about the trees because I feel that is the valid part of the case. I think the Minister will probably agree that until the excavations have been got out for the road, it will not be known whether it is possible to save the trees. It may be that the excavations will be sufficiently close to the trees to damage the roots to such an extent that it will not be possible to retain any of them, or that more will be damaged than the Minister anticipates. In any case, the proposal to put the road there means the removal of two trees. The proposal of the Middlesex County Council would mean the removal of a third. So it is the question of one tree and the possibility of a number of tree roots being damaged as a result of the excavations necessary for the new road surface.

I certainly hope that the trees will not be destroyed. I ask the Minister to consider when they have got to the stage of the excavations for the foundations of the new road, the possibility, if it is found that the trees or a number of them have to go—because it does not mean much alteration of the plan—of meeting Middlesex in this matter by moving the road a little further away from the Guildhall. That would seem a reasonable way whereby we might ask another place not to press for this, because, as far as I can see from the Debate, no arguments were adduced either way. If the Minister could give that assurance, it would be most helpful.

If the Bill does not go through, the position will be worse than before, because, under the Metropolitan Street Works Act, the London County Council have power to build a road where they like in the Metropolis, and we should have no power to stop them—they could put a road right through the Canning enclosure. I concede that as far as the road is concerned we are probably on weak ground, but the question of the layout is another matter. The last thing we desire is to interfere with the layout of this scheme, nor do we wish unduly to delay the scheme. If the Minister can do something on the lines I have suggested, namely, examine the position when the foundations are being made and the question of moving the line so as not to damage the other tree, then everyone will be satisfied.

10.22 p.m.

Photo of Mr Arthur Howard

Mr Arthur Howard (Westminster St George's)

It was not my intention to intervene in this Debate, but I regret to say that the speech of a former colleague of mine was both ungenerous and unworthy. The House should remember that we could not have considered the possibility of a real improvement to Parliament Square but for the foresight and generous action in the years gone past of the Middlesex County Council. I hold no brief for their detailed points of view, but we should bear that in mind and therefore give sympathetic consideration to anything they advance.

It is unworthy to put before the House a mass of intricate details and not deal with the point of substance in the minds of us all. Parliament Square is something that is very dear and important to us all. We all realise the desirability of improving it. We want to make certain that the improvement is the best we can get. It is perfectly clear that a great many people are far from satisfied that we have yet got the right improvement. I want the Minister to explain the statement he made, that we dare not risk the non-completion of this scheme by the opening of the Festival.

If this Motion is carried and further time is given for consideration of the details, is it a fact that the traffic will be in such a state that the Festival of Britain cannot properly take place? If the Minister will give us a clear answer on that, we shall know where we are, but, failing that, the House should consider whether Parliament Square is not of such importance to all of us that it is worth while taking a little more time to consider whether we cannot get the best possible improvement, instead of rushing through a hurried compromise which satisfies very few people.

10.24 p.m.

Photo of Mr Osbert Peake

Mr Osbert Peake (Leeds North)

No one would grudge the granting of Parliamentary time to the discussion of the future layout of what is the hub of the British Empire. It is a very sad commentary upon the negotiating powers of the Minister that we are here tonight discussing the question of whether the western carriageway of Parliament Square should in future be nine feet nearer or more distant from the Middlesex Guildhall, and, accepting what has been said by the hon. Member for Spelthorne (Mr. Pargiter), the future of one plane tree. That is what we are discussing in this Amendment. I agree with the hon. Member for Spelthorne (Mr. Pargiter) that the Minister made very heavy weather over this matter, since it is merely a question of whether this carriageway should be nine feet further east or west. To speak of the whole artistic layout of the scheme being marred if this Amendment were accepted is quite ridiculous.

The Middlesex County Council have a very natural sense of grievance. It was they who saved this site from being covered by sky-scrapers in 1928, when they purchased part of the Canning enclosure for 370,000. So far as I know, until recently, after the Bill was presented, they have never been consulted about the future of Parliament Square. The scheme was agreed between the Ministries concerned and the Metropolitan Police authority as long ago as last May, the Bill was brought forward in the dying days of this Session, another place was given only 24 hours in which to consider it, and the Middlesex County Council were never apparently consulted.

Photo of Mr George Pargiter

Mr George Pargiter (Spelthorne)

I am sure the right hon. Gentleman would not wish to be unfair. The Middlesex County Council were called to a conference after the whole scheme had been prepared, but before the Bill was presented to Parliament. There was consultation at that stage, but we were told that no alterations were possible.

Photo of Mr Osbert Peake

Mr Osbert Peake (Leeds North)

I am much obliged to the hon. Member. I accept his correction. The Middlesex County Council were called to a conference but were told that no alterations in the scheme were possible.

I think the Middlesex County Council, considering the public-spirited part they played in the whole of this transaction, have been badly treated. The Minister, if he had shown proper powers of conciliation and negotiation, could have got over this little difficulty of whether the carriageway should be nine feet to the east or to the west. I realise from my own experience the difficulty of getting an architect to change his plans once he has drawn them up, but I do not believe that the Festival of Britain would be in any way imperilled by the acceptance of this Amendment and I invite those of my right hon. and hon. Friends who think as I do, to go into the Division Lobby on this Amendment as a protest against the lack of skill which the Minister has shown in his negotiations on this matter.

10.27 p.m.

Photo of Mr Charles Gibson

Mr Charles Gibson (Lambeth Kennington)

My local authority, the London County Council, have also been involved in this matter and have been consulted, although at what point they were consulted I am not sure. I do know, however, that they consider the proposals for the road improvement to be rather good ones, which will be of considerable assistance to traffic in Parliament Square. They are also very anxious to preserve as many trees as possible. The proposed alteration involved in the Amendment will, I understand, destroy some more trees, and we do not want to see that. Therefore, I think the Lords Amendment is wrong.

I agree with those who say that the Middlesex County Council are to be congratulated and praised for the efforts they have made to preserve this corner of the Square. I do not think anybody wishes to denigrate in any way what they did to preserve the Square from a building which, no doubt, would have been built in a particularly ugly manner. The London County Council admit that the Middlesex County Council are entitled to thanks for the efforts they made to preserve this corner of the Square, but I think they are wrong in pressing, through another place, for this change in the Bill, which will produce a change in the road layout that will not give so easy and convenient a way for traffic and will endanger some more trees. I hope the House will oppose this Amendment.

Photo of Mr John Wilmot

Mr John Wilmot (Deptford)

May I ask my right hon. Friend a question? If the House passes this Motion to disagree with the Lords Amendment, will he try to get a settlement of this matter? Nothing or nine feet is not the only solution. We could go six feet, for instance. Surely some compromise between these public authorities is possible?

Photo of Mr Charles Key

Mr Charles Key (Poplar Bow and Bromley)

Speaking by leave of the House, I want first to answer the point that I was ungenerous to the Middlesex County Council in the statement that I made. On the Second Reading I paid my tribute to the Middlesex County Council and expressed my thanks to them. My noble Friend the Parliamentary Secretary did the same when the Bill was debated in another place. I felt that I should be saving the time of the House by not going over again those sentiments in dealing with this matter, but I can assure the House that my Ministry and I feel very grateful indeed to the Middlesex County Council for what they did. As a Londoner I am very proud of what they did to save Parliament Square.

So far as the traffic arrangements are concerned, the real reason for bringing forward this scheme at the present time was because of traffic difficulties in connection with the Festival of Britain. The scheme might not have been considered for some time to come, if we had not been assured that it was essential. In my speech on Second Reading, I said that the police felt that unless the Parliament Square scheme could be carried out be- fore the Festival, it would be very difficult for them to agree to the choice of the South Bank for the Festival of Britain. It was because of that urgency that it was felt necessary to bring the scheme forward now.

In regard to the discussions with people concerned in this matter, the outlines of this scheme and the plans prepared were presented to the Middlesex County Council at the same time as they were presented to the London County Council, the police and transport authorities, and the Council had exactly the same opportunities as other people to bring forward any point they wished. I had before me only this week a plan put forward by them a long time ago, involving this same proposal; it was considered and it was felt that it was impossible to do it. It has been said that this involved the destruction of only one tree. The truth is that it involved the destruction of two trees and endangered the lives of all the rest.

Last July, on the request of hon. Members, models and plans of the scheme were placed in this House for hon. Members to inspect. No adverse comment was received by my Ministry from any hon. Member. Moreover, on the Second Reading of the Bill no hon. Member raised any objection whatever about the layout of this road. We gave careful consideration to this matter and consulted all the specialists concerned, who say that to do this would involve redrafting the whole scheme, and in view of its importance to the Festival of Britain, I feel that it is impossible for me to give way at all on this point.

Photo of Sir Godfrey Nicholson

Sir Godfrey Nicholson (Farnham)

One of the Minister's remarks rather surprised me. In effect, he told the House that this Amendment is opposed because the police are against it, saying that they would not have agreed that the Festival of Britain should take place on the South Bank of the Thames if they had thought that this Amendment was to be made and accepted. That is the inference of the Minister's remarks.

Photo of Mr Charles Key

Mr Charles Key (Poplar Bow and Bromley)

I did not say anything of the sort. All I said was that the scheme was brought forward earlier than otherwise it would have been. I did not say anything with regard to this Amendment. The whole scheme was brought forward earlier because the police felt that improvement of the traffic arrangements in Parliament Square was essential for dealing with the Festival traffic.

Photo of Sir Godfrey Nicholson

Sir Godfrey Nicholson (Farnham)

If the right hon. Gentleman's remarks have no reference to the Amendment, surely his whole speech was out of Order. However, I rise because of the appeal made by hon. Members from the other side of the House that the Minister should see whether this cannot be arranged by

Division No. 305.]AYES[10.38 p.m.
Acland, Sir RichardGibbins, J.Murray, J. D.
Adams, Richard (Balham)Gibson, C. W.Neal, H. (Claycross)
Albu, A. H.Gilzean, A.Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.)
Alexander, Rt. Hon. A. V.Glanville, J. E. (Consett)O'Brien, T.
Allen, A. C. (Bosworth)Gooch, E. G.Oldfield, W. H.
Attewell, H. C.Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood)Oliver, G. H.
Awbery, S. S.Grey, C. F.Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)
Bacon, Miss AGriffiths, D. (Rother Valley)Palmer, A. M. F.
Baird, J.Griffiths, W. D. (Moss Side)Pannell, T. C.
Balfour, A.Guest, Dr. L. HadenParker, J.
Barton, C.Guy, W. H.Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe)
Bechervaise, A. E.Hall, Rt. Hon. GlenvilPaton, J. (Norwich)
Beswick, F.Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R.Pearson, A.
Bing, G. H. C.Hannan, W. (Maryhill)Porter, E. (Warrington)
Binns, J.Harrison, J.Pritt, D. N.
Blackburn, A. R.Hastings, Dr. Somerville.Proctor, W. T.
Blenkinsop, A.Haworth, J.Pryde, D. J.
Blyton, W. R.Herbison, Miss M.Pursey, Comdr. H.
Bottomley, A. G.Hewitson, Capt. M.Randall, H. E.
Bowden, H. W.Hobson, C. R.Ranger, J.
Braddock, T. (Mitcham)Holman, P.Rankin, J.
Bramall, E. A.Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth)Reeves, J.
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.Houghton, DouglasReid, T. (Swindon)
Brown, T. J. (Ince)Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.)Rhodes, H.
Burden, T. W.Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr)Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)
Burke, W. A.Hughes, H. D. (W'Iverh'pton, W.)Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)
Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.)Hutchinson, H. L. (Rusholme)Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)
Callaghan, JamesIrvine, A. J. (Liverpool)Rogers, G. H. R.
Carmichael, JamesIsaac**s, Rt. Hon. G. A.Ross, William (Kilmarnock)
Castle, Mrs. B. A.Jay, D. P. T.Royle, C.
Champion, A. J.Jones, D. T. (Hartlepool)Scollan, T.
Collindridge, F.Jones, Elwyn (Plaistow)Segal, Dr. S.
Collins, V. J.Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin)Sharp, Granville
Colman, Miss G. M.Keenan, W.Shurmer, P.
Cook, T. F.Kenyon, C.Simmons, C. J.
Cooper, G.Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.Skeffington, A. M.
Corlett, Dr. J.Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E.Skinnard, F. W.
Cove, W. G.Kinley, J.Smith, C. (Colchester)
Crossman, R. H. S.Kirby, B. V.Smith, Ellis (Stoke)
Cullen, Mrs.Lavers, S.Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.)
Daggar, G.Leonard, W.Snow, J. W.
Davies, Edward (Burslem)Levy, B. W.Steele, T.
Davies, Ernest (Enfield)Lewis, J. (Bolton)Stewart, Michael (Fulham, E.)
Davies, Harold (Leek)Lindsay, K. M. (Comb'd Eng. Univ.)Stubbs, A. E.
Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras, S. W.)Logan, D. G.Sylvester, G. O.
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)Lyne, A. W.Symonds, A. L.
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)McAdam, W.Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)
Deer, G.McGhee, H. G.Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Diamond, J.McGovern, J.Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)
Dobbie, W.McKay, J. (Wallsend)Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)
Dye, S.Maclean, N. (Govan)Thomas, John R. (Dover)
Edwards, Rt. Hon. N. (Caerphilly)McLeavy, F.Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)
Evans, Albert (Islington, W.)Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield)Tolley, L.
Evans, John (Ogmore)Mann, Mrs. J.Ungoed-Thomas, L.
Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury)Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping)Wallace, H. W. (Walthamstow. E.)
Ewart, R.Medland, H. M.Watkins, T. E.
Farthing, W. J.Mellish, R. J.Webb, M. (Bradford, C.)
Field, Capt. W. J.Mitchison, G. R.Weitzman, D.
Follick, M.Monslow, W.Wells, P. L. (Faversham)
Foot, M. M.Moody, A. S.Wells, W. T. (Walsall)
Forman, J. C.Morgan, Dr. H. B.White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Fraser, T. (Hamilton)Morley, R.Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Freeman, J. (Watford)Morris, Lt.-Col. H. (Sheffield, C.)Wilkes, L.
Freeman, Peter (Newport)Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)Wilkins, W. A.
Ganley, Mrs. C. S.Moyle, A.Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)

agreement. I feel that it is wrong that the Middlesex County Council should at this stage receive a snub. The Middlesex County Council have been generous, far-sighted and public-spirited over this matter.

Question put, "That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

The House divided: Ayes, 206; Noes. 77.

Williams, D. J. (Neath)Wilmot, Rt. Hon. J.
Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)Woodburn, Rt. Hon. A.
Williams, W. R. (Huston)Woods, G. S.TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)Yates, V. F.Mr. Popplewell and
Wills, Mrs. E. A.Young, Sir R. (Newton)Mr. George Wallace.
NOES
Agnew, Cmdr. P. G.Hare, Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge)Odey, G. W.
Amory, D. HeathcoatHead, Brig. A. H.Orr-Ewing, I. L.
Baldwin, A. E.Henderson, John (Cathcart)Peake, Rt. Hon. O.
Barlow, Sir J.Hogg, Hon. Q.Peto, Brig. C. H. M.
Bennett, Sir P.Hollis, M. C.Pitman, I. J.
Birch, NigelHope, Lord J.Prescott, Stanley
Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (Wells)Hurd, A.Raikes, H. V.
Bowen, R.Jeffreys, General Sir G.Renton, D.
Bower, N.Jennings, R.Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth)
Boyd-Carpenter, J A.Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W.Shepherd, W. S. (Bucklow)
Byers, FrankKingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H.Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Carson, E.Langford-Holt, J.Studholme, H. G.
Challen, C.Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.Sutcliffe, H.
Corbett, Lieut. Col. U. (Ludlow)Low, A. R. W.Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Crowder, Capt. John E.Lucas-Tooth, Sir H.Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)
Darling, Sir W. Y.McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. M. S.Touche, G. C.
Dodds-Parker, A. D.McKie, J. H. (Galloway)Turton, R. H.
Dower, Col. A. V. G. (Penrith)Maitland, Comdr. J. W.Walker-Smith, D.
Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond)Manningham-Buller, R. E.Wheatley, Colonel M. J. (Dorset, E.)
Duthie. W. S.Marshall, D. (Bodmin)White, Sir D. (Fareham)
Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale)Maude, J. C.Williams, C. (Torquay)
Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir D. P. M.Mellor, Sir J.Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Gage, C.Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury)York, C.
Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok)Mott-Radclyffe, C. E.
Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead)Neven-Spence, Sir B.TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Gomme-Duncan, Col. A.Nicholson, G.Major Conant and Mr. Digby.
Harmon, Sir P. (Moseley)Nutting, Anthony

Clause 3. —(SUPPLEMENTARY PROVISIONS AS RESPECTS THE NEW GARDENS.)

Lords Amendment: In page 4, line 30, after "him" insert "and the memorial fountain if removed."

10.45 p.m.

Photo of Mr Charles Key

Mr Charles Key (Poplar Bow and Bromley)

I beg to move, "That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

This Amendment arises from the fact that while the Bill, as passed by this House, gives power to remove the memorial fountain and the statues, it provides for the re-erection in Parliament Square only of the statues, not the fountain. This Amendment is for the purpose of trying to secure that the fountain is erected either in one of the two gardens or in another site approved by Parliament. While moving that we disagree with the Lords, there is also in my name on the Order Paper an Amendment to effect pretty well the same thing, and the difference between the two is almost entirely one of form.

The Lords Amendment seeks to say that Parliament should exercise control over the selection of the site, and we have conceded that; and under the procedure proposed in my alternative Amendment, a very full measure of control in this matter is given to Parliament, with whom rests the final word. It is, however, I submit, administratively proper that the initiative in selecting a site for the memorial fountain should rest with the Minister of Works and his officials. Hon. Members will agree that it is obviously his function, guided by his experts, to investigate what possibilities in the form of other sites exist, and to go into such questions as titles to land and so forth. In this particular case we have definitely agreed to submit to Parliament for its approval any proposals for a site which I am advised is suitable. By the Statutory Instruments Act, 1946, Parliament has established a procedure appropriate for this matter; by this it is provided that Parliament shall examine the course of action which the Minister proposes to adopt. It is that procedure which is embodied in the Amendment that I shall move.

Photo of Sir Edward Keeling

Sir Edward Keeling (Twickenham)

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether the Amendment provides for the affirmative approval of both Houses or for either House to disapprove?

Photo of Mr Charles Key

Mr Charles Key (Poplar Bow and Bromley)

It provides that the House may disapprove; that is the procedure under the Statutory Instruments Act, 1946. I shall give very careful consideration to any suggestions made by hon. Members of this House or by Members of another place, but I still say that the initiative should lie with the Minister responsible for the layout of the gardens and the erection of the statues.

Photo of Mr Osbert Peake

Mr Osbert Peake (Leeds North)

In the speech which the right hon. Gentleman has delivered, he has given the House no indication whatever that he appreciates at all the gravity of the step which he is taking and the principle which he is infringing by moving to disagree today with an Amendment which the Leader of the House of Lords and his own Parliamentary Secretary accepted in another place only yesterday afternoon. The Amendment to which the Minister now invites the House to disagree was moved in another place yesterday by Lord Simon, and the Leader of the House of Lords and the Parliamentary Secretary—I suppose I should not be in Order, Mr. Speaker, in quoting their precise words—said quite clearly that they would accept this Amendment provided that Lord Simon would agree to the omission of the words "within three months". Lord Simon indicated that he was prepared to do so. and thereupon the Amendment to which this House is now invited to disagree was agreed to in another place without a Division.

We all know what Lord Ammon said about the Government in somewhat similar circumstances. It seems to me to be a remarkable thing that the Minister should now be inviting the House to reject what Lord Addison, the Leader in another place, accepted only 24 hours ago. It seems an amazing thing that within four or five hours of the acceptance of this Amendment in another place on behalf of the Government—to whom, of course, the principle of collective responsibility applies—the Minister should have tabled an Amendment to reject the Amendment which had been accepted by the Government elsewhere.

I am not going to concern myself at all with the merits or the demerits of the fountain in Parliament Square. If either affirmative or negative Resolutions were capable of amendment in this House, when the appropriate Resolution comes forward, I am sure that I and many other hon. Members could suggest very many suitable places to which this memorial fountain could be most appro- priately consigned, but what we shall be faced with is that the House may only proceed by negative Resolution to reject the site selected for it by the Minister.

I am not going to dwell upon the differences, important as they are, between the positive and negative procedures in this House. I only protest, and protest most strongly, at the rejection by the Minister today of what the Government accepted yesterday in another place. By so doing the Minister is deliberately endangering the future of this Bill. He regards the Bill as essential to the success of the Festival of Britain, but who can possibly blame another place if they should insist upon an Amendment which the Government accepted only yesterday afternoon? Is it not inevitable, therefore, that the Minister is deliberately going to imperil the passage of this Bill by insisting upon the substitution of the negative for the positive procedure in regard to the Resolution concerning the very unimportant matter of the future site of this memorial fountain? I really think that this is an intolerable position, and if the Bill is lost, the whole responsibility will rest upon the right hon. Gentleman.

Photo of Mr John Wilmot

Mr John Wilmot (Deptford)

I hesitate to detain the House, but the future site of this fountain is not an unimportant matter. It is very important that it shall go a long way from Parliament Square, because it is a very ugly fountain indeed. I suggest that this is a last-minute opportunity presented to the House of Commons to indicate in no uncertain terms, both to another place and the Minister, that we want to see the last of the fountain. It would really be a scandal if Parliament Square were reconstructed and that appalling dim Gothic erection put back to mar what might be a very noble part of these precincts.

This fountain has suddenly become sacrosanct. I just do not understand why another place should behave in the way they have done about this fountain. It is a most unsuitable structure in which to house a fountain. It would be a suitable thing from which to sell footwarmers and antimacassars in the precincts of St. Pancras Station, but it is not at all suitable for a fountain in Parliament Square. It is the dimmest piece of Victorian bogus Gothic that can be seen for miles around, and it ought to be taken away.

Nor is it a memorial fountain. It does not commemorate the memorable event which it is alleged to commemorate. It was, in fact, put up by some well-disposed philanthropist who thought that the provision of drinking water in any part of the town was a public benefit.—[An HON. MEMBER: "So it is."] I do not disagree with that, but it was thought that somewhere in Parliament Square was a suitable place in which to have another tap, and unfortunately at that time of day, it was thought desirable to embellish a simple tap with all this Gothic masonry.

It was only after Parliament gave permission to put this thing in Parliament Square that it was decided to affix to it a plaque or a tablet commemorating a most memorable event—[Interruption.] The hon. Gentleman is entitled to his version of this historical event. But that is mine. It is an afterthought that there was put on it a plaque commemorating the abolition of slavery. I suggest that a wonderful opportunity is open to us. We can get rid of the fountain and preserve the memorial at the same time. Why not put a stone plaque upon one of the pillars or in some other suitable place in the new square, to commemorate this great event, and consign the fountain to some very distant place where we shall forget about it for all time?

Photo of Mr Quintin Hogg

Mr Quintin Hogg (Oxford)

I was sorry to hear the right hon. Member for Deptford (Mr. Wilmot) reproduce the entirely false piece of historical research which was given to another place yesterday on behalf of the Government. My information is entirely different. If the right hon. Gentleman will consult the Dictionary of National Biography under the title of Charles Buxton, M.P., a former Member of this House, he will find that the humble proposal of the predecessor of the hon. Member for Ealing West (Mr. J. Hudson) to erect a water-trough of some kind in Parliament Square for water drinkers in 1859 was. in fact, not proceeded with, and that the fountain, the present edifice, which was erected in 1863, so far from being the product of Wakefield the water-drinker, was designed and erected by Mr. Charles Buxton, a Member of this House.

Photo of Mr Quintin Hogg

Mr Quintin Hogg (Oxford)

This Mr. Charles Buxton, a Member of this House, was a son of one of the principal persons responsible for the abolition of the slave trade. It was designed and erected, I think, at his own expense, in 1863 as a pious memorial to his father's work.

To suggest that it is the futile outcome of drinking water and of a philanthropist who desired to put a water-trough in Parliament Square is false history and a vicious attack upon this edifice. The right hon. Gentleman claims to be an arbiter of taste—

11.0 p.m.

Photo of Mr Quintin Hogg

Mr Quintin Hogg (Oxford)

—which I am not. Victorian Gothic is now out of fashion, and I confess—as I say, I claim to be no authority in such a matter—it is not to my taste either. But the right hon. Gentleman should remember that tastes change. Gothic architecture was at one time considered to be the most beautiful of modern styles. What he now desires to put in may in due course be condemned by subsequent generations in terms more scathing than those applied to the drinking fountain, on the origins of which he has proved so ignorant. I am sorry that my hon. Friend should give him support. The Victorian Gothic which he dislikes may one day be restored to public favour. In those days the desire of the right hon. Gentleman and my hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham (Mr. Keeling) to consign it to a place which they dare not even mention—

Photo of Mr John Wilmot

Mr John Wilmot (Deptford)

It is not a place from which it would be impossible to recover the statute if public taste changed.

Photo of Mr Quintin Hogg

Mr Quintin Hogg (Oxford)

I am seeking to save the hon. Gentleman from the opprobrium of posterity. Think what will be said about him and vandalism if Victorian taste is restored and this fountain is found to have been sent to some ignoble destination. No, Sir; this matter is not one to be settled so easily. Let the Dictionary of National Biography decide and let the pious work of a faithful son remain in an honoured position—at least 'somewhere selected by this House.

Photo of Sir Edward Keeling

Sir Edward Keeling (Twickenham)

I agree with every word of my right hon. Friend the Member for North Leeds (Mr. Peake). For the Government to dare to alter—almost before the ink was dry on the paper—an Amendment which they accepted in another place, and which even incorporated some suggestions made by the Government themselves, is really carrying their contempt for another place too far.

I want, however, to address myself briefly to the merits of that fountain. I regret to say that my hon. Friend the Member for Oxford (Mr. Hogg), the hon. Member for Edge Hill (Mr. Irvine), who opposed me at the last General Election, and the Dictionary of National Biography are all wrong. Thanks to the very efficient research department of the Library, I have been able to trace a contemporary account of the erection of this fountain. It will be found in "The Illustrated London News" of 10th March, 1866. The memorial was not designed by Charles Buxton, M.P., son of Thomas Fowell Buxton; it was designed by Samuel Sanders Teulon, a rather obscure architect who practised at Charing Cross. What has misled hon. Members and the Dictionary of National Biography is that Charles Buxton paid the bill.

It has been said that it is an insult to the memory of Buxton and the other abolitionists to tamper with this fountain. It has almost been suggested that anyone who seeks to remove it is advocating the restoration of slavery. I have two observations to offer on that. The first is that it is really ridiculous to suggest that because one dislikes a memorial one is decrying the men whom it commemorates. It would be like saying that anyone who admires the Grinling Gibbons' statue of James II is affirming that James II was a great king. The second observation I have to make is that the enthusiasm for this fountain is a little belated. For many years it has been actually leaning to one side, neglected and forlorn. Why did these new-found defenders of it never ask the Ministry of Works to straighten it?

I agree with the artist, Nicolas Bentley, who wrote in "The Times" this morning, that it is a noticeable enough eyesore to warrant removal at any time, that it is an indefensible monstrosity, appalling in its weakness of conception and design, and that it is no fit neighbour for Abraham Lincoln. So, also, in his well-known book "Open-Air Statuary," Lord Edward Gleichen wrote: It is 19th-century Gothic, of polished pink granite, grey stone and white marble, surmounted at the angles by poor bronze statuettes of British rulers from Caractacus to Queen Victoria. Let us hasten away. However, I have no objection to the Government's proposal that they should be given a free hand to deal with this fountain subject to the approval of Parliament, but I make one proviso. Any proposal submitted to Parliament should have the prior approval of the Royal Fine Art Commission. This body is well qualified to advise, as it includes a number of architects and artists, at least one engineer, and half-a-dozen laymen. I ask the Minister to give an assurance that this will be done. Subject to that, I think the Government Amendment on the Order Paper is better than the Amendment which was agreed to in another place. That does not, however, excuse the Government's breach of faith.

Photo of Sir Godfrey Nicholson

Sir Godfrey Nicholson (Farnham)

I do not know why the right hon. Gentleman opposite poured such scorn on the 19th Century. I should have thought that he was a typical product of that era himself. I do not know why he poured such scorn on the memorials of the 19th century. Some day perhaps a memorial of a more utilitarian nature may be erected to him. I think it is dangerous when one particular age takes it upon itself to pour scorn on what a previous age has thought good. It is not a safe thing to do. Every single one of our national monuments has had scorn poured upon it and a proposal made to pull it down. I do not understand why hon. Gentlemen opposite and the hon. Member for Oxford (Mr. Hogg), who is unpredictable—do not like this monument and wants its destruction, irrespective of whether it is leaning right or left, and even if it is, like the Tower of Pisa, leaning to the right.

But there is a serious aspect to this question. Whether rightly or wrongly historically, and despite the evidence of "The Illustrated London News," this memorial is associated with the abolition of slavery. There is something queer and anomalous about the House, even in a spirit of deplorable flippancy, agreeing to the removal of a memorial to the greatest and most disinterested action of the House and at the same time leaving a statue to Abraham Lincoln, who did not achieve a similar act until 30 years later.

Parliament Square is the hub of the Empire. If we do sweep away this fountain, something should be done to commemorate that great and historic act which it commemorates. We have still vast Dominions and Colonies, and in many of them the abolition of slavery still remains as one of the most glorious records of British rule. I should deplore it if, in preparation for the great Exhibition of 1851—[Interruption.] I am sorry, I am behind the times—this memorial were to disappear, and I suggest that we should think twice before parting with a memorial to that great, historic and noble act.

Photo of Mr Ian Orr-Ewing

Mr Ian Orr-Ewing (Weston-Super-Mare)

I should like to give my support in general to the Government's proposal. I know it is a rare occasion. I do not like the way they are doing this, but I think this is the right Government to do what is proposed. It has been suggested that this is not the moment to remove a monument—nobody is quite sure what it is a monument to—which may stand for something, but which is in doubtful style.

My hon. Friend the Member for Farnham (Mr. Nicholson) has suggested that we are not entitled to decide what is good style or good architecture; but whatever the age, there are three standards of good architecture—commodity, firmness, and delight. These three measures or guides can be applied to any form of architecture or structure, designed or built at any time.

As regards commodity, nobody can guess whether this should be commodious for celebrating the abolition of slavery or for the free drinking of water. I cannot imagine any structure less adapted to either purpose. That is not a matter of taste, design or beauty. It is not commodious in any form. Secondly, nobody can say this monument is firm. It has been said by more than one hon. Member that it is leaning to the right or the left, according to the angle from which it is looked at. It cannot be retained on its present site in respect of firmness. As regards delight, it would be improper to repeat what has already been said. I believe that anybody who could find delight in a monument of that sort is either looking so far ahead or so far into the past, that he has no relation to the present at all.

There is one over-riding reason why I think the present Government are the right people to remove this monument. I am taking the argument, which is popularly accepted, that this stands as something in memory of the abolition of slavery. If that is the case, surely nobody could think of any better Government in this country to remove a monument which stands for the abolition of slavery. If they are going to replace that monument with one which is to commemorate the reinstatement of slavery, not in a British colony but in this country, again I would support them. I think they would be the right people to do it. Hon. Members will see from the Order Paper that we are about to discuss the Control of Engagement Order, which is very near something for the abolition of which this memorial stands. On those counts I would say that this Government is right in claiming to itself the right to remove this monument in memory of the abolition of slavery.

11.15 p.m.

I make one more remark, and I do so seriously: if they remove this memorial, whether some other Government in future times bring it back or not, they ought to leave some memorial tablet there to show what they have done. That tablet should bear the simple words: "Here stood a monument for either free drinking or the abolition of slavery, but by a Socialist Government it was considered an embarrassing anachronism and shifted." Would the right hon. Gentleman please put words to that effect on the tablet? I hope we can get some reassurance from the Minister on this point, because that may alter my view either in support of him or against him.

Photo of Mr George Pargiter

Mr George Pargiter (Spelthorne)

Might I suggest to hon. Members opposite that if this fountain were put at the foot of the Albert Memorial everybody would be satisfied.

Photo of Mr Henry Strauss

Mr Henry Strauss (Combined English Universities)

I cannot help thinking that the hon. Members for Oxford (Mr. Hogg) and Farnham (Mr. Nicholson) cannot have read the alternative Amendments which this House has to consider. Neither under the Amendment put forward by the Lords nor under that of the right hon. Gentleman can this fountain be destroyed. If the hon. Member for Farnham will refresh his mind by looking at the relevant documents, he will see that what I am saying is perfectly correct. Under both Amendments this memorial has to be kept. The question is, where is it to go? That is the only point on which there is an important difference between the two Amendments, one making the matter subject to a positive Resolution and the other subject to objection by a negative Resolution.

There are two reasons why I advocate the acceptance of the Lords Amendment and disagree with the right hon. Gentleman's Amendment. The first is the serious point put by my right hon. Friend the Member for North Leeds (Mr. Peake). It is a very serious thing indeed that the Parliamentary Secretary and the Leader of the House of Lords both accept an Amendment on behalf of the Government, thus avoiding a Division, and then the Minister next day asks us to disagree with the action taken by the Government only the previous day. On that I support my right hon. Friend.

The second reason why I support the Lords Amendment as the better of the two—and here I speak as an interested party—is that when another hideous memorial, one of the Balzacette memorials on the Embankment, was removed to effect a traffic improvement, it was put down, without the slightest consultation with me. or others affected, in front of my house. I want to secure the maximum possible protection of anyone who might otherwise find that, when this memorial fountain is taken elsewhere, it is dumped in front of his home without giving him the slightest opportunity of objection. On the whole, a positive Resolution of both Houses gives better protection to citizens who might be injured by having this memorial suddenly placed opposite them.

I agree, generally, with the hon. Member for Twickenham (Mr. Keeling) that an absolute assurance should be given that the Royal Fine Art Commission will be consulted about the replacing of this memorial. I feel sure that the right hon. Gentleman will give that assurance; but, even though the assurance is given, I shall still think, for the reasons which I have given, that the Lords Amendment is better than the right hon. Gentleman's Amendment.

Photo of Sir William Darling

Sir William Darling (Edinburgh South)

I think it will not be inappropriate for a Scottish Member to make some observations upon this subject. If the English are removing their memorials and casting down their monuments, it may be that the Scots will have a word to say about it. If there is no place in London for a memorial in stone to one who was responsible in the main for the movement for the abolition of slavery, rather than that it should be erected in front of the doorway of the hon. Member for the Combined English Universities (Mr. H. Strauss), we would prefer that it should be put in some Scottish place, for we cherish the memory of those who upheld the ideals of equality and freedom. In Scotland we have a noble Gothic monument in memory of Sir Walter Scott, in Prince's Street, Edinburgh. There are other sites where we might use this monument which it is proposed to remove.

But I am not on my feet to make a reference to this particular monument, but rather to another almost adjoining it. Within Westminster Abbey, contiguous to the Square and possibly within the purview of the Minister's authority, is the Scottish monument called the Stone of Destiny. It has been there since the 14th century.

Photo of Sir William Darling

Sir William Darling (Edinburgh South)

While, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, I can make no reference to this monument, its proximity to the present condemned monument enables me to make a passing reference to it. I strongly support the idea that if it is of no interest to London that the memorial to one who was responsible for the abolition of slavery is to be removed, we in Scotland still cherish these ancient freedoms and will find for them hospitality—all the more so if they may be accompanied by the return of the Stone of Destiny.

Photo of Mr Osbert Peake

Mr Osbert Peake (Leeds North)

On a point of Order, Mr. Deputy-Speaker. Before the Minister replies to the Debate, with the leave of the House, may I put a point to you? The Minister has moved a Motion "That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment," and the Debate has covered two separate Amendments, one in line 30 and the other in line 31.

The Amendment in line 30 might be thought to be concerned with the artistic merits of the fountain, whilst that in line 31 directly raises the important issue of procedure by way of affirmative or negative Resolution, a matter on which I feel strongly. Therefore I ask whether, for the convenience of the House, you will put the two Amendments separately.

Photo of Mr Francis Bowles

Mr Francis Bowles (Nuneaton)

I was thinking, as the Debate went on, that the Amendments might be put separately.

Photo of Mr Charles Key

Mr Charles Key (Poplar Bow and Bromley)

There is only one thing which I need say, and that is that I give

Division No. 306.]AYES[11.27 p.m.
Acland, Sir RichardGibson, C. W.Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe)
Adams, Richard (Balham)Gilzean, A.Paton, J. (Norwich)
Albu, A. H.Glanville, J. E. (Consett)Pearson, A.
Attewell, H. C.Gooch, E. G.Porter, E. (Warrington)
Awbery, S. S.Greenwood, A. W. J. (Heywood)Pritt, D. N.
Bacon, Miss AGrey, C. F.Proctor, W. T.
Baird, J.Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley)Pryde, D. J.
Balfour, A.Griffiths, W. D. (Most Side)Pursey, Comdr. H.
Barton, C.Guest, Dr. L. HadenRandall, H. E.
Bechervaise, A. E.Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R.Ranger, J.
Beswick, F.Hannan, W. (Maryhill)Rankin, J.
Bing, G. H. C.Haworth, J.Reid, T. (Swindon)
Binns, J.Herbison, Miss M.Rhodes, H.
Blackburn, A. R.Hewitson, Capt. M.Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvonshire)
Blenkinsop, A.Holman, P.Robertson, J. J. (Berwick)
Blyton, W. R.Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth)Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N)
Bottomley, A. G.Houghton, DouglasRogers, G. H. R.
Bowden, H. W.Hudson, J, H. (Ealing, W.)Ross, William (Kilmarnock)
Braddock, T. (Mitcham)Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayr)Royle, C.
Bramall, E. A.Hughes, H. D. (W'lverh'pton, W.)Segal, Dr. S.
Broughton, Dr. A. D. D.Hutchinson, H. L. (Rusholme)Sharp, Granville
Brown, T. J. (Ince)Irvine, A. J. (Liverpool)Shurmer, P.
Burden, T. W.Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.Simmons, C. J
Burke, W. A.Jay, D. P. T.Skeffington, A. M.
Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.)Jones, D, T. (Hartlepool)Skinnard, F. W.
Callaghan, JamesJones, Elwyn (Plaistow)Smith, C. (Colchester)
Carmichael, JamesJones, P. Asterley (Hitchin)Smith, Ellis (Stoke)
Champion, A J.Keenan, W.Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.)
Collindridge, F.Kenyon, C.Snow, J. W.
Collins, V. J.Key, Rt. Hon. C. W.Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Colman, Miss G. M.Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E.Steele, T.
Cook, T. F.Kinley, J.Stewart, Michael (Fulham. E.)
Corbet, Mrs. F. K. (Camb'well, N.W.)Lavers, S.Stubbs, A. E.
Corlett, Dr. J.Leonard, W.Sylvester, G. O.
Crossman, R. H. S.Levy, B. W.Symonds, A. L.
Cullen Mrs.Lewis, J, (Bolton)Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
Daggar, G.McGhee, H. G.Thomas, D. E. (Aberdare)
Davies, Edward (Burslem)McGovern, J.Thomas, Ivor Owen (Wrekin)
Davies, Ernest (Enfield)McKay, J. (Wallsend)Thomas, John R. (Dover)
Davies, Harold (Leek)McLeavy, F.Ungoed-Thomas, L.
Davies, Haydn (St. Pancras, S.W.)Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Huddersfield)Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst)
Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton)Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping)Wallace, H. W. (Walthamstow. E.)
Davies, S. O. (Merthyr)Medland, H. M.Watkins, T. E.
Deer, G.Mellish, R. J.Webb, M. (Bradford, C.)
Delargy, H. J.Mitchison, G. R.Wells, P. L. (Faversham)
Diamond, J.Monslow, W.Wells, W. T. (Walsall)
Dobbie, W.Morgan, Dr. H. B.White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Dye, S.Morley, R.Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Edwards, Rt. Hon. N. (Caerphilly)Morris, Lt.-Col. H. (Sheffield, C.)Wilcock, Group-Capt, C. A. B.
Evans, Albert (Islington, W.)Morris, P. (Swansea, W.)Wilkes. L.
Evans, John (Ogmore}Murray, J. D.Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)
Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury)Neal, H. (Claycross)Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)
Ewart, R.Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford. N.)Williams, W. R. (Heston)
Farthing, W. J.O'Brien, T.Williams, W. T. (Hammersmith, S.)
Field, Capt. W. J.Oldfield, W. H.Wills, Mrs. E. A.
Follick, M.Oliver, G. H.Wilmot, Rt. Hon. J.
Foot, M. M.Paget, R. T.Woods, G. S.
Forman, J. C.Paling, Will T. (Dewsbury)Yates, V. F.
Freeman, J. (Watford)Palmer, A. M. F.TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Freeman, Peter (Newport)Panned, T. C.Mr. Popplewell and Mr. Wilkins.
Ganley, Mrs. C. S.Pargiter, G. A.
Gibbins, J.Parker, J.

the assurance asked for, that we will consult the Royal Fine Art Commission before making any proposal.

Question put, and agreed to.

Lords Amendment: In page 4, line 31, at end, insert: Provided that, if another site for the memorial fountain is agreed on by resolution of each House of Parliament, the memorial fountain shall be re-erected on such site.

Photo of Mr Charles Key

Mr Charles Key (Poplar Bow and Bromley)

I beg to move, "That this House doth disagree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

The House divided: Ayes, 182; Noes, 75.

NOES
Agnew, Cmdr. P. G.Hare, Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge)Orr-Ewing, I. L.
Amory, D. HeathcoatHenderson, John (Cathcart)Peake, Rt. Hon. O.
Baldwin, A. E.Hinochingbrooke, ViscountPitman, I. J.
Barlow, Sir J.Hogg, Hon. Q.Prescott, Stanley
Bennett, Sir P.Hollis, M. C.Price-White, D.
Boles, Lt.-Col. D. C. (Wells)Hope, Lord JPrior-Palmer, Brig. O.
Bowen, R.Howard, Hon. ARaikes, H. V.
Bower, N.Hurd, A.Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth)
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A.Joynson-Hicks, Hon. L. W.Roberts, W. (Cumberland, N.)
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W.Keeling, E. H.Stoddart-Scott, Col. M.
Byers, FrankKingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H.Strauss, Henry (English Universities)
Carson, E.Langford-Holt, J.Studholme, H. G.
Challen, C.Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H.Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Corbett, Lieut-Col. U. (Ludlow)Lucas-Tooth, Sir H.Thomas, Ivor (Keighley)
Darling, Sir W. Y.McCorquodale, Rt. Hon. G. S.Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Digby, S. WingfieldMcKie, J. H. (Galloway)Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)
Dodds-Parker, A. D.Maclean, F. H. R. (Lancaster)Touche, G. C.
Dower, Col. A. V. G. (Penrith)Maitland, Comdr. J. W.Turton, R. H.
Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond)Manningham-Buller, R. E.Walker-Smith, D.
Duthie, W. S.Marshall, D. (Bodmin)White, Sir D. (Fareham)
Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale)Maude, J. C.Williams, C. (Torquay)
Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir D. P. M.Mellor, Sir J.Williams, Gerald (Tonbridge)
Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. (Pollok)Neven-Spence, Sir B.York, C.
Galbraith, T. G. D. (Hillhead)Nicholson, G:
Gomme-Duncan, Col. A.Nutting, AnthonyTELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Hannon, Sir P. (Moseley)Odey, G. W.Major Conant and Colonel Wheatley.

Amendments made to the Bill in lieu of the Lords Amendments in page 4, lines 30 and 31, disagreed to; in page 4, line 29, by leaving out from the word "re-erect" to the word "either," in line 30. and inserting the words: the said fountain, if removed by him, and such of the said statues as are so removed

instead thereof; and in page 4, line 31, at the end, by inserting the words: Provided that, if the Minister by order appoints a different site for the said fountain not being a site within either of the said gardens, the Minister may re-erect the said fountain on that different site instead of in one of the said gardens.(2) Any power to make an order conferred on the Minister by this section shall be exercisable by statutory instrument and a draft of any statutory instrument to be made in the exercise of that power shall be laid before Parliament."—[Mr. Key.]

Committee appointed to draw up Reason to be assigned to the Lords for disagreeing to one of their Amendments to the Bill: Mr. Gibson, Mr. Keeling, Mr. Key, Mr. Peake and Mr. Kenneth Robinson; Three to be the Quorum.—[Mr. Key.] To withdraw immediately.