§ 55. Mr. Robert Gibson
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury whether he will take steps to have the National Gallery open for visitors on Friday evenings?
§ The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Lieut.-Colonel Colville)
The hours of opening of the National Gallery have in recent years been extended to 8 p.m. on the first three nights of each week. The Trustees considered that those nights best met the public convenience, and I do not think that there is any good reason to propose an alteration.
§ Mr. Gibson
Will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman bear in mind that visitors coming from Scotland for a short stay at the week-end would very much benefit by an extension of the hours on Friday, and, in particular, that Scottish Members of this House find that they are marooned in London from 4 p.m. until the first available train to Edinburgh at 10.30, and in these circumstances will he not do something in this matter?
§ Lieut.-Colonel Colville
The question of hours is one, in the first instance, for the Trustees, but I have no doubt that the hon. and learned Member will be aware that Friday is not a free day, whereas the days on which the hours have been extended—Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday—are free days, and also Saturday.
§ Mr. Gibson
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I was speaking on behalf of the West of Scotland visitors and representatives who do not mind whether there is 6d. to pay or not, as long as they have the intellectual pleasure of studying the masterpieces in the National Gallery.