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Panel Pictures (Lady Astor).

Oral Answers to Questions — House of Commons. – in the House of Commons on 30th July 1924.

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Photo of Mr Thomas Johnston Mr Thomas Johnston , Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire Western

40.

asked the First Commissioner of Works when and by whom the decision was taken to place a painting of the introduction into the House of the hon. Member for the Sutton Division of Plymouth (Viscountess Astor) on the walls of this House; and if he will take the sense of the Members of this House on the subject before the project is further proceeded with?

Photo of Sir Reginald Clarry Sir Reginald Clarry , Newport (Monmouthshire/Gwent)

41.

asked the First Commissioner of Works whether a picture representing the introduction of the hon. Member for the Sutton Division of Plymouth is to be hung in the precincts of Westminster; and upon whose authority is this to be done?

Photo of Mr Frederick Jowett Mr Frederick Jowett , Bradford East

The decision referred to was given by my predecessor in June of last year, but having regard to the numerous objections received during the last few days from Members of all parties, I cannot consent to its being finally hung without further expressions of approval. I propose to leave the picture temporarily in position until I have had a further opportunity of ascertaining the general opinion of Members.

Photo of Mr Thomas Johnston Mr Thomas Johnston , Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire Western

Can the right hon. Gentleman say if he will give this House an early opportunity of showing its opinion upon this project, and if that early opportunity will be given us before we rise for the Recess?

Photo of Mr Frederick Jowett Mr Frederick Jowett , Bradford East

That is a question that should be addressed to the Prime Minister.

Photo of Mr Frederick Linfield Mr Frederick Linfield , Mid Bedfordshire

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the views of many thousands of women in this country on the subject?

Photo of Mr Thomas Johnston Mr Thomas Johnston , Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire Western

May I ask the Prime Minister if he is prepared to give this House time before the Recess to signify its approval or otherwise of this project?

Photo of Mr John Baird Mr John Baird , Ayr District of Burghs

As the picture was put up after you and I had consulted, Mr. Speaker, as to the desirability of commemorating what appeared to us both to be a very important step in the development of our national Parliamentary institutions—

HON. MEMBERS:

Speech!

Photo of Mr John Baird Mr John Baird , Ayr District of Burghs

—may I ask the right hon. Gentleman if he will take steps to see that full time is given for the consideration of this question, and that it is not decided in consequence of prejudice or ignorance?

Photo of Mr Frederick Jowett Mr Frederick Jowett , Bradford East

I indicated in my original reply that I would give time.

Photo of Mr George Spencer Mr George Spencer , Broxtowe

Is not the opposition to the picture due to the fact that the lady happens to be an American rather than an Englishwoman?

Photo of Mr David Kirkwood Mr David Kirkwood , Dumbarton District of Burghs

Is it not due to the fact that she is not the first lady Member of this House, but the Countess Markievicz is?

Photo of Mr Isaac Foot Mr Isaac Foot , Bodmin

Will the right hon. Gentleman have regard to the fact that there is already in St. Stephen's Hall a picture which does depict curtain living statesmen and politicians?

Photo of Mr Frederick Jowett Mr Frederick Jowett , Bradford East

All relevant considerations will be taken into account.

Photo of Mr Thomas Johnston Mr Thomas Johnston , Stirlingshire and Clackmannanshire Western

May I, very respectfully, press the Prime Minister for an answer to the question which I put to him, as to whether facilities will be given before the Recess?

Photo of Mr Ramsay Macdonald Mr Ramsay Macdonald , Aberavon

Obviously, this is a matter which ought to be dealt with in the most decent and proper way possible. We will do our best to do that.