Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

16 articles on this Page



THE ROYAL JNSTITUTION OF SOLTH WALES. THE NEED OF A MORE CENTRAL SITE. IMPORTANT PROPOSALS. OFFER FOR THE FREEHOLD AND A FREE GIFT OF THE MUSEUM. Mr. C. H. Glascodine, the President of the Royal Institution, very kindly sends us the following: — The Corporation of Swansea, moved to establish a municipal museum and adopt the Act enabling it to levy a rate for the PurPos«, and wishing to know, before taking a definite step in the matter, whether it could on any and what terms acquire the museum ol th.e Royal Institution as a nucleus for a mu cipal museum, appointed, as a prelamlllarr step, a deputation to wait upon th P dent, ex-president, and hon. secretary^ Royal Institution, and Institution meeting took place at the Koya p „ on Monday, the 17th February, 1902. pre- sent: C. H. Glascodine t&he Morgan (ex-president and w presidents of and the Mr. M. Tutton, and Mr. Solomon, accom- panied by Mr. Johns, Deputy Town Clerk. The deputation expressed a, wish to know Whether the Royal Institution would on any, and what, terms part with their museum to the Corporation towards the for- mation of a municipal museum. Mr. Glascodine explained that Col. Morgan and he were in no sense appointed by the Royal Institution fro negotiate or deal with the Corporation, and must be understood to speak in their own individual capacity only, expressing what they were prepared to advise the Royal Institution to do, but in no way binding the Royal Institution. He said that the Royal Institution of South Wales being a body corporate for the promotion of liter- ature, science and art, and having a library, museum, and collection of pictures, in build- ings erected on land held under the Cor- poration for a term of 500 years, of which about 440 have yet to run, at a rent of 5s. a year, had no powers to alienate any por- tion of its possessions for any purpose other than those specified; but he thought that to assist the Corporation in forming a muni- cipal museum,—which, supported by a rate, could become, far better and more advan- tageous to the community than anything the Royal Institution could, with its limited re- sources, hope to make—was quite within its province, and that it would be legitimate for the Royal institution to alienate its museum for this purpose. He would not advise the Royal Institution to sell the museum, buil, if other matters could be arranged, to make a free gift of it to the Corporation. The deputation asked what the other mat- ters" were, and whether the Royal Institution would be prepared to part with their pre- mises known as the Royal Institution, and on what terms? The reply was that the "other matters" were connected with the (land and) building. The museum was a present source of in- come to the Royal Institution which it could ill afford to lose. The site of its premises had l#ng been ill adapted for a literary, scientific, and artistic institution, and would be still less so in the future, especially if they parted with the museum. The Royal Institution should be advised that it should be a sine qua non that they should be re- lieved from the condition in the lease, which prevented them from assigning the premises (free from stipulation as to the nature of their user) before they agreed to give pu the museum. But in order that there should be no question as to their selling the museum for a free licence to assign, they should only ask that such a licence should be given them by the Corporation in return for the pay ment of a full, complete, indeed, an ample money payment to the Corporation for all their interest in the premises. Asked by the deputation whati was meant by an ample money payment, reply was I ;stade that while the interest of the Royal Tmtittltion in the premisee WM the. possession of them, with restricted ritritt of riser, for '440 years, at the rent of 5s. a year, that of > tfce Corporation was of a threefold nature, -Hz.: (1) A rent of 5s. a year for 40 years; '!lJ) the reversion at the expiry of 440 years; (3) an embargo on the premises against tiheir use by the Royal Institution for any pur- poses other than literature, science and art. The Royal Institution, being by its own con- stitution restricted to these objects, the re- striction imposed on the user of tjhe pre- mises was not felt, so long as they held them, bu;, could only be felt in the event of their attempting to realise them, and that could only be done by the consent of the Corpora- tion. The "embargo," belonging to the Cor- poration had, therefore, no pecuniary value unJetra, and until, the Roya-1 Institution wish >d for a licence to assign the premises freeu from it. The rent, 5s., might be se- cured by the Corporation in perpetuity by the purchase of consols producing that amount (after the reduction of nett to 2! per cent.) by a present outlay of £9 10s. The reversion, to property of (say) the value of £50,000 in 440 years, is worth a present pay- ment of 5s., say 10s. The rent and reversion were worth, therefore-, about £10. He sug- gested that the R-ayal Institution might be advised to offer 25 times tlhis sum, or say JB250 for a licence to assign, freed from any restriction as to user. The deputation were understood to say that such an offer would be regarded as entirely inadequate, and asked whether he Royal Institution would be prepared to sell their interest in the lease for £10,000. The reply was that no one could advise the Royal Institution to entertain such a suggestion. The Royal Institution could only move from their present premises into others of equal value, at least as far as the buildings were concerned. The Royal Insti- tution had given the town the advantage of the finest classical building in the Princi- pality. It had enjoyed the patronage of her late Majesty Queen Victoria for over 60 years, and the patronage of his Majesty King Ed- ward VII had lately been extended to it. It would ill become the Royal Institution, flierefore ,to part with its present buildings at a gross undervalue and consent to be housed in premises that would be a distinct "come down" from the position it had held in the past. It must acquire a freehold site in a central, position, and put up buildings which would be as worthy of its name and its Royal patronage as the old ones build- ings which would be just such an adornment to the town—structurally, from an archi- tectural, or artistic point of view, as the existence of the Royal Institution in1 Its midst was, or might be, an advantage to the community in the intellectual and artistic aspect. Their land and present buildings were, he argued, worth £25,000 (more or 'less), and it would be absurd for the Royal Institution to sacrifice more than half their value and attempt to satisfy its requirements for £10,000 or anything like it. The adorn- ment of fhe town was an object that the members of the Royal Institution bore in their minds, as, presumably, it was in the minds of the members of the Town Council. 'Why should they sacrifice money which, in their view, they held on trust for the intel- lectual advancement of the community, in order that it might go to the reduction of tflie rates, and that at some distant future time? They could not legitimately do so. On the other hand,, if it was understood that any surplus received by the Corporation (over and above the fair, full, ample value of their interest in the premises) was to be expended on a municipal museum, the Royal Institu- tion might properly be advised to co-operate with the Corporation, and allow them to receive for that expressed object, any moneys that would be made by the realisation' of the land over and above the needs of the Royal Institution-literally fulfilled. At the same time the sum to set apart for a museum should bear some proportion to the total gum realised, e.g., the Royal Institution should be satisfied with a smaller sum if the land realised only £20,000 than it should ask for if it realised £30,000. Asked to speak in greater detail, it was «aid that (by way of example) the Royal Institution „As^ot> say £ 17,000 if fhe land realised £ 20,000, and a share, say, a third of all realised over that amount. In replv in th" n ¡; ,c would i..i* .iitifc, to the Corporation, it v»tt8 { Mated out that if the property sold for only £20.000, it would leave the Corpora- tion £3000 or £2,750 over and above the fair, full value of their -nterest in the premises. If they realised £25,000 it left them £6,333, or more than J66,000 over their interest! in the premises. If the price was £30,000, it left them J69,666, or nearly JE9,500 over the value of their interest. The deputation asked whether it would not be possible to come to an arrangement by which the Corporation should purchase land and erect buildings for the Royal In- stitution, on plans agreed upon by the Royal Institution, and having done so,, hand them over to the Royal Institution, and in return, therefore, the Royal Institution should as- sign its interest in its premises to the Cor- poration, and allow them to realise them to the best advantage? Ib was suggested by the deputation that thereby the Royal In- stitution would attain its objecil of being located in a part of the town more suitable to its objects. In reply, it was said that it was not entirely impossible that an arrange- ment of that nature might be come to, but that before stating their requirements the Royal Institution would want to know the amount of the fund available for their pur- poses, so as to cut their coat according to their cloth, and tfhat there was no reason to believe it would be to the advantage of either party. It was suggested that the site of the Train- ing College in Nelson-place, or ground in Alexandra-road might be made use of, but it was objected that neither of those sites would be entertained for a moment. It was further pressed upon the deputa- tion that all the money received by the Royal Institution would be expended in the adorn- ment, or in the improvement, and to the advantage of the town, and there was no reason why the Corporation, being literally paid for their interest in the premises,, should not deal liberally with them: that what- ever the pecuniary value of the premises, the whole amount, less a comparatively very small sum, was the property of the Royal Institution, and would, indeed could not, be used by them in any way other than to the intellectual and artistic advantage of the town and community; that there was no good reason why the whole value of their interest in the premises should not be given over to the Royal InstItutIon; that the Royal Institution quite recognised that they could not realise without the concurrence of the Corporation; that' that concurrence could bp legitimately withheld only if the Corpora- tion had reasons to beHeve the Royal In- stitution would direct the money into chan- nels other than the advancement of litera- ture, science and art, and could not legiti- mately do so in order to obtain money for their licence to assign; that the Royal In- stitution could not be advised tto sacrifice any large part of the value of their premises to fall into the Corporation common fund, but might be advised to deal liberally with the Corporation if the moneys conceded were t) be spent on the municipal museum; that the best course of action to pursue was as follows: That the Corporation should assess the full, fair, ample (reasonable) value of their interest in the premises; that the Cor- poration and the Royal Institution should co-operate in finding a purchaser for, and in selling, the property; that out of the purchase money; that out of the purchase purchase money (which must noil be less than £20,000), the Royal Insti- tution should receive the first £17000 the Corporation should receive £3.000 to include the value of their interest, and that the rest of the purchase money should be paid in the proportions of one- third to the Royal Institution, and two-thirds to the Corporation, all moneys received by the Corporation, over and above the assessed value of their interest, to be deemed a con- cession by the Royal Institution for the ex- press purpose of being expendid on a muni- cipal museum.



[No title]


[No title]



[No title]