HC Deb 28 March 1945 vol 409 cc1343-4
12. Sir William Davison

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will ascertain as to the custody of works of art by British artists which have not yet been returned from the Paris Salon of 1940; what charges are being made in respect of the safe keeping of such works of art; and when it will be possible for the same to be returned to this country.

Mr. Eden

I understand that thanks to the efforts of the "Salon des Artistes Francais" all the pictures to which my hon. Friend refers are safe. The artists concerned have been informed accordingly. The pictures are at present in a furniture store and I am having further inquiries made about what charges there will be, if any, and how soon the pictures can be returned to this country.

Sir W. Davison

Does my right hon. Friend realise the heavy burden which is entailed on artists in having to pay for storage, if the French authorities, whose kindly action in this matter we much appreciate, are unable to secure the temporary storage of their pictures free of charge?

Mr. Eden

I have not heard about storage. I think the French artists concerned have made great efforts to save these pictures and keep them safe from the Germans.