§ MR. HORNIMAN (Chelsea)
I beg to ask the Prime Minister whether his attention has been called to the fact that in 1886 the Treasury grant of £10,000 per annum for the purchase of paintings by the trustees of the National Gallery was suspended so that the cost of the Madonna degli Ansidei, by Raphael, and the equestrian portrait of Charles I., by Vandyck, at a total cost of £87,500, might be made good and that the grant since has been £5,000 per annum; and whether, in view of the increased competition and the consequent enhanced value of pictures worthy of the national collection, he will consider the advisability of granting in future years at least as much as that formerly given.
§ MR. ASQUITH
I will confer with my right hon. friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer; but I do not think that he will find himself in a position at the present time to increase, the grant for the purchase of pictures. The grant for the present year, as my hon. friend has no doubt observed, is £12,500.
§ MR. ARTHUR LEE (Hampshire, Fareham)
asked whether, in the event of the £5,000 not being expended in any one year, it could be carried over to the next year.