HC Deb 04 April 1957 vol 568 cc554-5
18. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Secretary to the Treasury if he is aware that of the 4,000 pictures approximately in the Tate Gallery only about 1,200 were on exhibition on 31st July last, because there was not enough space to exhibit the other 2,800; if he will now state whether space has since been found to exhibit the latter; and what are his plans for relieving the Tate Gallery of this problem and for enabling the public to see all the pictures there which were acquired for the purpose of public exhibition.

Mr. Powell

In addition to some 1,200 pictures on the walls of the Tate Gallery, about 270 are on view in other galleries and exhibitions on loan; the remainder can be viewed on application. The same pictures do not always remain on exhibition; it is the Gallery's policy to provide a range of exhibits which changes from time to time.

Mr. Hughes

Is the Minister aware that large numbers of these pictures remain unexhibited for long periods and that this matter of non-exhibition goes to the very root of the trust upon which the pictures are held? When, as in this case, there is accommodation elsewhere for the pictures, does he not realise that it should be used? Does the Minister realise that I am referring in particular to the Lane pictures, which should go to Dublin?

Mr. Powell

I thought that the hon. Member might have something of that kind in mind, but it will be obvious that, if the pictures on exhibition in the Tate Gallery are to be varied from time to time, the total number owned must be considerably in excess of the number exhibited.