Hudson Memorial. Hyde Park.

Oral Answers to Questions — Houses of Parliament. – in the House of Commons on 30th November 1925.

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Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

25.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, as representing the First Commissioner of Works, what is the cost to the National Exchequer of the special police protection required to safeguard the Epstein sculpture in Hyde Park?

Mr. LOCKER-LAMPSON:

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply which I gave on the 24th instant to a similar question by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Brighton.

Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

Is it a fact still, as stated by my hon. Friend in a reply in this House in June last, that the cost would be provided by the Hudson Memorial Committee, because the funds from that committee have been dissipated? How is it that it is no longer a cost to public funds?

Mr. LOCKER-LAMPSON:

There are no extra police detailed for this duty. One of the police already on the spot has been told to pay particular attention to it.

Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

What were these police doing before they were employed on this duty? Obviously, they must have had some other duties. How are those duties which they have had to give up in order to protect this monument being performed?

Mr. BECKETT:

Could not the memorial be put in charge of the O.M.S.?

HON. MEMBERS:

Or the Fascisti?

Photo of Sir Waldron Smithers Sir Waldron Smithers , Chislehurst

Will the hon. Gentleman refer the whole question to the Fine Arts Commission?

Photo of Sir Basil Peto Sir Basil Peto , Barnstaple

26.

asked the Undersecretary of State for the Home Department, as representing the First Commissioner of Works, whether the First Commissioner will approve of the question of the retention or removal of the panel by Mr. Epstein from the Hudson memorial in Hyde Park being referred to the Royal Fine Arts Commission; and whether he can give the names of the Commissioners?

Mr. LOCKER-LAMPSON:

After full consideration the First Commissioner sees no reason for referring this question to the Fine Arts Commission. I am sending the hon. Member a list of the members of the Commission.

Photo of Sir Basil Peto Sir Basil Peto , Barnstaple

Arising out of that reply, may I have leave to ask the hon. Member a further question? As the First Commissioner says that he sees no reason to refer this matter to the Fine Arts Commission, will he consider representations by the subscribers to this memorial fund, if they show that the subscribers were never consulted as to statuary of any kind by Mr. Epstein or anyone else being part of that for which their money was to be used?

Mr. LOCKER-LAMPSON:

The difficulty is that the subscribers to the memorial were living in all parts of the world. It was really quite impossible, so I understand, for the particular sketch to be sent all over the world and for replies to be received in time.

Lieut.-Colonel DALRYMPLE WHITE:

Will the hon. Gentleman consider the suggestion that has been made to plant ivy over the panel so as to hide the lady, and make a nice rustic ornament?

Photo of Sir William Davison Sir William Davison , Kensington South

Will the hon. Gentleman inform the House what is the object of having a Fine Arts Commission at all if matters such as this, which is a subject of controversy, are not referred to them for decision?

Photo of Colonel Sir Walter De Frece Colonel Sir Walter De Frece , Blackpool

Could there not be a charge for admission to those who wish to view this work?

Mr. LOCKER-LAMPSON:

The Fine Arts Commission has only come into existence during the last few months, but it is practically the same as the old Sites Committee, and this piece of statuary was shown to them.

Several HON. MEMBERS rose

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

I think this lady has taken up enough time.