HC Deb 21 November 1966 vol 736 cc925-6
27. Mr. John Smith

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works whether he will send some of the experts on historic buildings and artistic matters in his Department to help their opposite numbers in the flood-damaged regions of Italy.

Mr. Boyden

My right hon. Friend is very ready to help in this way if such assistance is needed.

Mr. Smith

Does the Parliamentary Secretary recognise that this is one way at least in which we can show that we are part of Europe, and do all he can to send some of his people over there?

Mr. Boyden

The reason I gave rather a cautious Answer was that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science is mainly responsible for the arts. My Department has a few picture restorers and we have some special expertise in restoring ancient buildings. These facilities will certainly be made available if the committee considering the matter wishes.

Mr. Chichester-Clark

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that anything he can reasonably do in this regard will have the general support of this side of the House?

Mr. Boyden

I thank the hon. Gentleman very much.