HC Deb 13 March 1923 vol 161 cc1256-7

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether his attention has been called to the fact that under present conditions parties of elementary school children, accompanied by their teachers, are in the habit of making educational visits to the British Museum during school hours without any cost in respect of admission; that these facilities may be endangered if Clause 9 of the Fees (Increase) Bill becomes law; and whether he will give an undertaking that the regulations to be made by the trustees of the Museum, with the consent of the Treasury, shall make provision for the continued free admission of school children, accompanied by their teachers, on approved educational visits to the Museum on all school days?


At national galleries and museums where entrance fees are already imposed the practice has always been to admit such organised parties of school children without charge of any kind by arrangement with the director. Power to make similar arrangements will certainly be taken in any regulations relative to admission fees at the British Museum and Natural History Museum. I may add that at national galleries and museums where entrance fees are already charged, the director issues at his discretion free passes at any time to persons regularly using the collections and libraries for purposes of study or research. The same discretion will be enjoyed by the Directors of the British Museum and the Natural History Museum.


Will it also have reference to the institution described by the late Clerk of the House as a museum of historical antiquity, namely, the House of Commons?


In view of the fact that the amount collected by fees charged for entrance to the British Museum will be very small, and that it will go to the Treasury and not to the British Museum, will the Government abandon the proposal to charge fees?


I am thankful for all contributions, however small.

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