§ 85. Mr. BLACK
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether, seeing that the attendance of the public at the Tate Gallery during 1923 was 2549 50,000 fewer than in 1913, and that the annual cost of the gallery is about £15,000, he will, in view of the small receipts for admission and in order to popularise this national institution, make it free to the public every day of the week?
The hon. Member has apparently overlooked the fact that, of a total decrease of 48,338, nearly 34,000 is attributable to reduced attendance on free days: but I am glad to be able to inform him that from 1st April next the admission fees at the Tate Gallery on the two paying days will be reduced from 1s. to 6d. so as to correspond with the fees at the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square. The question of abolishing the fees altogether in this case was not brought to my notice until the Estimates for 1924–5 had been closed, and I am afraid that it is not feasible to take any step in this direction at the moment, though I should like to give the matter further consideration during the year.
I cannot vouch for all the Estimates, but the point was that this particular Estimate was closed, and the proposal I have made was the best that we could do.