HC Deb 25 February 1930 vol 235 cc2051-3
55. Captain CAZALET

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury what replies have been received from the trustees of the National and Tate Galleries and the British Museum with regard to the early introduction of legislation to permit them to make loans to special exhibitions or other galleries?


The Trustees of the National Gallery and the Tate Gallery are in favour of legislation for enabling them to lend pictures abroad, subject to certain limitations and conditions, and for abolishing, subject to the consent of the donor or his representatives, the restriction that pictures given or bequeathed may not be lent before the expiration of 15 years. The Trustees of the British Museum have appointed a Sub-Committee on the subject, and no report has yet been received.


May I ask whether the Trustees were unanimous in this matter?


I should want notice of that question.


Is it the intention of the Government be introduce legislation when they have received a reply from the Trustees of the British Museum?


I have no doubt the matter will be considered when this further decision has to be taken.

56. Captain CAZALET

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether it is proposed to carry out the recommendations of the recent Royal Commission on Public Galleries and Museums in regard to the evening openings and artificial lighting of the National Gallery, the Tate Gallery, and the British Museum; and whether he has asked the opinion of the several boards of trustees regarding the introduction of electric light and longer hours of opening?

62. Major NATHAN

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he proposes to institute a system of electric or other artificial lighting in the National Gallery and other galleries and museums at present without artificial light?


Provision is being made for the artificial lighting of the National Gallery and the Tate Gallery. Before deciding on opening the British Museum in the evening it is proposed to watch the results of the experimental evening openings which have been authorised at the Victoria and Albert and Bethnal Green Museums. The several Boards of Trustees have been consulted.


Will this Estimate for new lighting be presented with the Estimates for the year?


Will the Financial Secretary take into consideration the fact that the British Museum is often used by students and is, therefore, in an entirely different category from the Bethnal Green Museum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. The facilities of the British Museum are used more than those of the other two.


The whole matter will be considered after the other cases have been watched, but it does not follow that the one case will determine the other. With regard to the point put by the right hon. Member for Stafford (Mr. Ormsby-Gore), I will look into it.