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The Arts

Volume 889: debated on Tuesday 8 April 1975

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3.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will make a statement on the progress made following his approaches to both sides of industry on the subject of industrial patronage of the arts.

I am still in touch with both sides of industry and I shall report further progress as soon as I can.

We have spent some time talking about the provision of money for the arts today. Does the Minister realise that this is one area in which he might he able to do something if he showed a bit more enthusiasm and drive?

Oddly enough, I believe that I have been the most enthusiastic and driving Minister ever on the question of extracting money from private enterprise. I believe that I have had great success. I am going to a performance tonight which is supported by one of those companies which in my view have received insufficient publicity about their activities in this connection. I have also had a letter this morning from the Chairman of Imperial Tobacco putting forward a suggestion which I am studying with close attention and appreciation. I hope that in due course we shall be able to say something about this. I am also expecting to hear shortly from Mr. Campbell Adamson, of the CBI, concerning some discussions I had with him on the subject recently.

Has the Minister looked at the experience of other countries, for example, Switzerland, where large concerns like Migros allocate 1 per cent. of their turnover for cultural sponsorship of the arts?

That is indeed an interesting point, which I hope to discuss with the leaders of industry in due course.