HC Deb 24 June 1965 vol 714 cc1925-6
18. Sir Knox Cunningham

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what amount of the subsidy paid from public funds to the Royal Shakespeare Company, namely, £80,000 for 1964–65, was expended on the productions at Stratford-on-Avon, and what amount on the productions at the Aldwych Theatre.

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

This information is not available. The Arts Council grant is for the work of the Royal Shakespeare Company as a whole.

Sir Knox Cunningham

Would the hon. Lady ask Sir Fordham Flower so to prepare the accounts that this information will be available. Would she agree that, since the National Theatre receives grants to produce plays of a very wide range in London and since excellent Shakespearean productions are produced at Stratford-on-Avon, it would be wiser to give this £80,000 a year to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre for production of Shakespeare at home and on tour?

Miss Lee

I hope that the hon. and learned Gentleman would not want either direct or indirect political direction or censorship of the Arts. The questions which he raises are for the Arts Council, and he can be assured that the assessors established by the Arts Council are looking very carefully indeed not only at the amounts granted but at how this money is spent.