HC Deb 06 July 1961 vol 643 cc1637-8
21. Mr. Boyden

asked the Minister of Education what was the total grant made by the Victoria and Albert Museum to provincial museums for the purchase of exhibits; and what percentage these grants formed of the total expenditure of provincial museums for such grant-aided purchases.

Mr. K. Thompson

The grants made in the financial year 1960–61 totalled £21,747, which represented about 34 per cent. of the total cost of the grant-aided purchases.

Mr. Boyden

Would the hon. Gentleman consider two things? Would he take very serious notice of the Standing Committee's Report on art galleries and museums about the parlous state of provincial museums and do something about it? Will he secondly consider, when the National Art Collection Fund makes a grant to a provincial museum, ignoring it when the Victorian and Albert grant is being considered, because the Victoria and Albert grant is a maximum of 40 per cent. and it looks as though the Victoria and Albert grant is being reduced because of some other grants?

Mr. Thompson

As the hon. Member knows, the basis on which these grants are given takes account of whether other public funds or non-local funds are being contributed to any extent to the purchases. We shall take full account of what is said in the report just issued.