HC Deb 20 November 1958 vol 595 cc1307-8
19. Mr. Gower

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will increase his grant to the Arts Council so that better financial assistance may be provided for the Welsh National Opera Company.

Mr. Simon

I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central (Dr. Stross) on 13th November.

Mr. Gower

Does my hon. and learned Friend appreciate that this Opera Company, which has been praised for its work in reviving operas which have not been performed for a very long time, receives a grant which is pathetically small in comparison with the grants received by established opera companies in London and, indeed, in comparison with the grant given to the Carl Rosa Opera Company, whose repertoire is comparatively hackneyed?

Mr. Simon

I well know the very high reputation of the Welsh National Opera Company, not only in Wales, but throughout the Kingdom. However, the division of funds that are placed at the disposal of the Arts Council is a matter for the Arts Council in which my right hon. Friend does not interfere.