HC Deb 18 November 1930 vol 245 cc243-4
54. Mr. A. M. SAMUEL

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether those pictures and drawings now stored at the National Gallery and the Tate Gallery which were recently declared to be only of slight interest and not usually exhibited will be sold and the proceeds used for the purchase of pictures, sculpture and other works of art of greater interest?

The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Pethick-Lawrence)

The trustees are only empowered by law to sell works which are unfit for, or not required as part of the national collection, and have not been bequeathed to, or given to, or for the benefit of the nation. Under their powers as so limited, the trustees could only sell a few of the pictures referred to by the hon. Member. As these pictures are of but small value, it is not proposed to put them up to auction.


In view of the Prime Minister having stated that he would introduce a one-Clause Bill giving the National Gallery power to lend pictures, will the Financial Secretary put in another Clause to meet the difficulty of dealing with pictures and drawings of little artistic value?


I should like to have notice of that question.


asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury when he hopes to make a statement on the recommendation of the recent Royal Commission on Museums that a standing commission should be appointed?


It has been decided to set up a standing commission on Museums and Galleries. Detailed arrangements will be announced as soon as possible.