Sir Walter Raleigh (Statue)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Works – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 4th March 1958.

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Photo of Sir Hamilton Kerr Sir Hamilton Kerr , Cambridge 12:00 am, 4th March 1958

asked the Minister of Works whether he is yet in a position to make a statement regarding the erection of a statue to Sir Walter Raleigh in London in commemoration of the 350th anniversary of the foundation of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Photo of Mr Arthur Molson Mr Arthur Molson , High Peak

Yes, Sir. A bronze statue of Sir Walter Raleigh is to be erected in front of the National Gallery in the position at present occupied by the statue of James II which will be moved to the lawn in front of the Foreign Office facing St. James's Park.

The statue of Raleigh is being provided by a group which has commissioned Mr. William McMillan as the sculptor. I am sure the House will wish to join me in paying tribute to the public spirit of this group for its imaginative gift.

Photo of Sir Hamilton Kerr Sir Hamilton Kerr , Cambridge

Is my right hon. Friend aware that his announcement will cause the greatest pleasure, both in Virginia and in this country?

Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire

Is the Minister aware that the Stuarts have already been insulted enough by this Government? Is this another?

Photo of Colonel Sir Alan Gomme-Duncan Colonel Sir Alan Gomme-Duncan , Perth and East Perthshire

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this man Raleigh introduced the abominable habit of tobacco-smoking into this country? Would it not be much better to erect a statue of James VI and I, who cut his head off?

Photo of Mr Arthur Molson Mr Arthur Molson , High Peak

As a non-smoker, I have a good deal of sympathy with what my hon. and gallant Friend has said, but Raleigh was a most interesting character and also, I believe, he introduced the potato.