HC Deb 05 August 1965 vol 717 cc1854-5
9. Sir Knox Cunningham

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make it a condition of the next grant to the Arts Council that they should require the accounts of the Royal Shakespeare Company to be set out in such a manner as to show the profit and loss of their theatres in Stratford-on-Avon and London, respectively.

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Education and Science (Miss Jennie Lee)

No, Sir.

Sir Knox Cunningham

Is the hon. Lady not aware that this company has been producing excellent Shakespeare plays at Stratford-on-Avon year after year and that only since it opened in London has a subsidy from public funds been paid—£40,000 last year doubled to £80,000 this year? With this in mind and the necessity to reduce public expenditure, is it not reasonable that Sir Fordham Flower should prepare his accounts to show where the taxpayers' money is going? Will the hon. Lady ask him to do so?

Miss Lee

I agree that there must always be public accountability for public funds, but I would not dream of interfering in the slightest extent with the way in which the Arts Council allocates its money and the companies it chooses to support.