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Volume 960: debated on Friday 15 December 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if, in view of the fact that Government expenditure on the arts fell short by £6 ·3 millions of the amount provided by Parliament in the year 1976–77, she will now seek a Supplementary Vote to restore these sums unpaid to the Arts Council and other recipients of State support.

The underspending on this vote in 1976–77 was £2 ·7 million. The sum of £6 ·3 million appears to be derived from the cash limit, but this would include money which was not in fact voted by Parliament. Almost all of the £2 ·7 million originated from the British Library and the national museums. Some of it arose from building work which was deferred and financed in the following year and £287,000 was specifically revoted. None of this affected the Arts Council which spent all but £10,000 of its grant of just over £37 million.