HC Deb 30 March 1961 vol 637 cc1502-3
14. Mr. Jeger

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he discussed with the London County Council the future of the South Bank site before making his decision not to proceed with the building of a National Theatre.

Sir E. Boyle

No, Sir. But my right hon. and learned Friend discussed this matter with the Chairman of the L.C.C. on March 13th and further discussions between the Government and the L.C.C. will take place as occasion requires.

Mr. Jeger

Is not this a terrible example of the shabby way in which the Government have treated the London County Council? Is not the Minister aware that the L.C.C. has held this site for over ten years and, owing to the deplorable manner in which the Government have handled the question of a National Theatre, there is considerable doubt whether we shall ever see one, and that we shall have to rely on the forward-looking and imaginative boldness of the L.C.C. to provide it?

Sir E. Boyle

I cannot agree with what the hon. Gentleman said, nor, for that matter, would his right hon. Friend the Member for Vauxhall (Mr. Strauss), who said on 21st March: I personally agree with the right hon. and learned Gentleman's approach to this question and think that this may be the best way of establishing a real national theatre."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 21st March, 1961; Vol. 637, c. 212.]

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