HC Deb 15 June 1954 vol 528 cc1730-1
37. Mr. E. Fletcher

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will order an inquiry into the administration of the Tate Gallery, in view of the resignation of Mr. Le Roux, the Senior Deputy Keeper, following on the fact that 11 members of the senior staff have left during recent years.

Mr. R. A. Butler

No, Sir. The trustees are responsible for the administration of the Gallery and the present trustees enjoy the full confidence of Her Majesty's Government. The trustees have stated in their Report of February last that they intended to take steps to bring about necessary improvements in "all matters connected with routine administration and procedure."

Mr. Fletcher

Is it not a fact that since the resignation of Mr. Le Roux another senior member of the staff of the Tate Gallery has resigned? Is it not also a fact that during the last few years staff relations at the Tate have been very unusual and most unhappy? In view of recent maladministration in the Tate, is it not very desirable, to allay public opinion in the world of art, that there should be an independent inquiry into the affairs of the Tate Gallery?

Mr. Butler

I have naturally considered every possibility, but I must repeat that I have absolute confidence, and so have Her Majesty's Government, in the present board of trustees. I must, therefore, leave the administration of the Gallery to them. As regards the statement made by the hon. Member that another member of the staff has resigned, I was not aware of it, but I will of course make inquiries into what he has said. Otherwise, I believe that the House would be well advised to leave the administration of the Gallery in a powerful and responsible body of trustees.