HC Deb 27 June 1961 vol 643 cc185-6
19. Mr. Jeger

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware of the continuous process of reduction of support by the Arts Council for provincial touring theatrical companies; and whether he will draw its attention to the need to give continued support to the provinces.

Sir E. Boyle

My understanding is that the Arts Council has not reduced its support of such companies. The Council is well aware of the needs of the provinces.

Mr. Jeger

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the Caryl Jenner Mobile Touring Theatrical Company, which does excellent work in Lincolnshire, Cornwall and Scotland, had its Arts Council grant of a paltry £3,000 completely cut and that that action will probably mean the end of this mobile touring company? This was done following on the death-blow to the Carl Rosa Opera Company. It is a definite blow at provincial touring theatrical and operatic companies. Will the hon. Gentleman draw the Arts Council's attention to the fact that when we ask for a national theatre we are told that the Council cannot do anything more for London because it is concentrating on the provinces, but now it is cutting the provinces?

Sir E. Boyle

Discussions are now in progress between the Arts Council and the Caryl Jenner Mobile Touring Theatrical Company. The repertory theatre has gained considerably from Arts Council grants during the last few years.