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Galleries And Museums (Assistance)

Volume 524: debated on Tuesday 9 March 1954

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what financial assistance has been given by the Arts Council to prevent the closure of private art galleries and museums owing to lack of funds.

The Council has made no grant specifically to prevent such institutions from closing.

Is the Chancellor aware that some of the galleries are threatened with closure, including the Whitechapel Gallery and the one at Barnard Castle, and even if the Arts Council were to find some money they have not got sufficient to spare for this purpose? Will the Chancellor give further consideration to the giving of Government assistance to prevent this important part of our civilised society from being destroyed?

I have given the answer to the best of my ability. I do not like to interfere with the discretion of the Arts Council, but it was in their last Report that they referred to the difficulties of private museums. It was because of that that questions have been raised, and I do not doubt but that they will pay attention to the questions that have been put.