HC Deb 21 April 1959 vol 604 cc213-4
38. Mr. Strauss

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will provide the Arts Council with sufficient resources during the present financial year to enable it to increase the support it gives to the theatre.

Mr. Amory

I would refer the right hon. Gentleman to the reply given to the hon. Member for Barnsley (Mr. Mason) by my hon. and learned Friend the Financial Secretary on 19th February.

Mr. Strauss

Yes, Sir, but is the Chancellor aware that the amount given by the Treasury to the Arts Council only enables it to provide less than £70,000 in support of the theatre in the whole of the British Isles, which is far less than any provincial cities in Europe get from public funds, and that this amount is inadequate to enable our rep companies m particular to function properly?

Mr. Amory

As the right hon. Gentleman knows, the Government have increased substantially the total grant to the Arts Council over the last two or three years, and in spite of the fact that a triennial grant was fixed last year I have increased the total grant again this year. The allocation of that total sum must be on the decision of the Arts Council.