HC Deb 15 June 1966 vol 729 cc1431-2
7. Mr. Monro

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what sum of money is available this year from Government sources to further the arts and music in Scotland.

Mr. Ross

Government expenditure on the arts in Scotland in 1966–67 is esti- mated at about £1,030,000, including £554,000 for the national museums, library and galleries and £450,000 for the Scottish Committee of the Arts Council. In addition, the Arts Council will be making capital grants to certain projects for housing the arts.

Mr. Monro

Surely the right hon. Gentleman is aware that the bagpipes are the national music of Scotland? Out of this vast sum, can he not give any grant to pipe bands?

Mr. Ross

The hon. Gentleman knows, and I hope that he will appreciate, that I share his love of that form of music, but it is much more satisfactory to deal with pipe bands in this way so that the local pipe bands are supported locally. Indeed, in a Bill now before the House we are making provision for local authorities to have freer access to local finance for that purpose.

Mr. Buchan

Will my right hon. Friend keep in mind that the amount allocated to the entire Arts Council for Scotland is no more than is given to one opera house in London? Will he make representations to the Treasury to ensure a fairer allocation to areas outside London, including Scotland?

Mr. Ross

I assure my hon. Friend that we are watching this, but there has been a greater increase in the Scottish than in the United Kingdom allocation. The actual increase to Scotland this year over last is 30 per cent.

Mr. G. Campbell

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree with my hon. Friend that pipe music, in particular, is deserving of his full support and that it makes a distinctive contribution to our nation's music as well as its culture?

Mr. Ross

I assure the hon. Gentleman that it gets my personal support.