HC Deb 12 February 1931 vol 248 cc589-90
98. Mr. PRICE

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the Covent Garden Opera Syndicate, which it is proposed to assist with public money, is engaged mainly in the performance of Italian and German operas; and whether he will consider giving assistance to organisations which are engaged in fostering British opera with British artists with the object of ultimately establishing a national school of opera?


The repertory of operas to be performed by the Covent Garden Opera Syndicate is a matter for the Syndicate subject to discussion as may be necessary with the British Broadcasting Corporation. I do not propose to interfere but I have no doubt that the claims of British operas will not be overlooked while British artists will as far as is possible be engaged. I am not prepared to make any grant to, any other opera producing organisation.


In view of the right hon. Gentleman's grave warning of yesterday, does he still intend to continue the policy of subsidising opera?


Most certainly, because it will involve no increase of taxation. It will not add one penny to the burden on the British taxpayer but will bring in a net revenue to the State.