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National Theatre

Volume 649: debated on Tuesday 21 November 1961

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress has been made in formulating a national theatre scheme in response to his offer of 12th July this year.

I am awaiting the submission of a scheme by the Joint Council of the National Theatre.

Is the Chancellor aware of the strong opposition expressed in many quarters, particularly by the Actors' Equity Association, against this proposal that a national theatre company should formed by a combination of the Stratford Company and the Old Vic Company? Is he further aware of the concern held by all those who have supported the national theatre idea that his proposal will mean that there will be only one drama theatre, only one drama auditorium? Will he consider all these matters and discuss them with all the interests concerned?

The position now is for the Joint Committee of the National Theatre to put forward its proposals to me.