HC Deb 06 March 1958 vol 583 c1321
19. Dame Irene Ward

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the proposed increase in expenditure in university education, he is satisfied that the grant in aid of the Arts Council is sufficient to ensure that graduates desirous of seeking employment in the field of arts will find a reasonable guarantee of employment.

Mr. Simon

The purpose of the grant is to encourage the arts and to make them accessible to the public.

Dame Irene Ward

What purpose is there in finding considerable sums of money through the Ministry of Education to give young people a chance to acquire an educated knowledge of the arts when, having obtained it, they find that there is not sufficient money in the kitty to ensure that they can get jobs in the arts in which Government grants have already been expended on them? Is not that a nonsensical way to go on?

Mr. Simon

The recent increases in university building which my right hon. Friend announced were between two-thirds and three-quarters for the benefit of the sciences and only the remaining part for the arts, and a very small proportion of the latter relates to the fine arts. The Government have decided to propose a grant of £1,100,000 for the Arts Council for 1958–59, which compares with £985,000 for 1957–58. That is an increase of 11 per cent. I think the House will agree that, in view of the over-riding need for economy in Government expenditure, my right hon. Friend has been generous with this body.

Forward to