§ 33. Dame Irene Ward
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will give the total expenditure by the Arts Council, excluding the central overhead expenditure on Covent Garden, on opera and ballet, and the percentage of such expenditure in London and the provinces, respectively, in the years 1950–51, 1951–52, 1952–53, 1953–54, 1954–55, 1955–56, 1956–57, 1957–58. 1958–59.
§ Sir E. Boyle
As the Answer is rather long and contains a number of figures I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
§ Dame Irene Ward
As the figures disclose that the provinces are very unjustly treated vis-à-vis London, will my hon. Friend give an assurance that no fresh grant of money will be made to the Arts Council until both sides of the House of Commons have had the opportunity to debate the whole matter of the administration of the Arts Council in this respect, which I believe is a scandal?
§ Following is the Answer:
|ARTS COUNCIL EXPENDITURE ON OPERA AND BALLET|
|—||Total||London||Scotland, Wales and the English Provinces|
|£||per cent.||per cent.|
§ 1. It is not feasible to deduct Covent Garden central overheads from the Arts Council grant as the latter represents a contribution to the net deficit on the whole Government undertaking and the overheads form part of Covent Garden's gross expenditure.
§ 2. In the case of Covent Garden, the provincial element in the above percentages was arrived at by setting direct, identifiable touring expenditure against box office takings, and the London element was arrived at by subtracting this from the total Arts Council subsidy.
§ 3. Any attempt to apportion central overheads between London and provincial activities would be entirely arbitrary and notional.