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National Theatre

Volume 643: debated on Tuesday 4 July 1961

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a further statement on the future of the National Theatre.

As I told the London County Council deputation which came to see me on 6th June, their offer to meet the capital cost of erecting a National Theatre on the South Bank in excess of £1 million already approved by Parliament in the National Theatre Act, 1949, creates a new situation.

I must, however, make it clear that I would not in any event be prepared to agree to more than the sum of £1 million already approved by Parliament toward capital costs, nor could I agree to increase the sum by way of annual subvention already contemplated in accordance with my statement of 21st March.

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that we are much gratified that, by implication, he is prepared to meet the guarantee already given by Parliament? Will he do all he can to see that those concerned with this matter concert their plans and their actions so that we can make this dream into a reality?

I think that it is now for those concerned to consider what, I have agreed, is a new situation, and no doubt I shall be communicating to the House the result of any discussions which take place.