HC Deb 15 February 1944 vol 397 cc27-8
55. Captain Alan Graham

asked the President of the Board of Education whether, in view of the poor quality and debasing effect of the pictorial art evinced at the exhibitions provided by C.E.M.A., he will reduce in war-time the yearly grant to this institution from His Majesty's Treasury of £100,000, or at least confine any future financial support to its musical and dramatic activities.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education (Mr. Ede)

My right hon. Friend cannot accept my hon. and gallant Friend's rather sweeping criticism of the quality and effect of the Art exhibitions sponsored by C.E.M.A., and would be glad if he would give particulars of the exhibitions he has in mind.

Captain Graham

Is my hon. Friend aware that I have had representations, both from Royal Academicians and a number of taxpayers all over the country, complaining of the use of the taxpayers' money to subsidise this debased quality of pictorial art?

Mrs. Cazalet Keir

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that, far from having any debasing effect, last year over 2,000,000 people found enjoyment, uplift, and refreshment from art exhibitions organised and arranged by C.E.M.A.?

Mr. Lindsay

Is my hon. Friend aware that thousands of soldiers have been to see and have appreciated these exhibitions?

Mr. Speaker

Hon. Members seem to be giving information and not asking for it.

Sir H. Williams

May I ask what these initials mean? Do they stand for the Church of England Music Association?

Mr. Ede

No, Sir. It is entirely undenominational. It is the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts—which might be very helpful to South Croydon.