HC Deb 06 February 1969 vol 777 cc573-4
29. Mr. Channon

asked the Secretary of Stale for Education and Science whether he will publish the Arts Council's reports on Opera and Ballet, and Theatre, respectively; and whether it is proposed to implement these reports.

The Minister of State, Department of Education and Science (Miss Jennie Lee)

Neither of these reports has yet been completed. It is for the Arts Council to decide whether to publish them, I understand it intends to do so.

Mr. Channon

Would not the right hon. Lady agree that there is widespread interest, as the Estimates Committee recently reported, in these reports? There has been considerable delay. Does not the right hon. Lady agree that it would be helpful to all concerned if we could get the reports through?

Miss Lee

Yes, Sir. The opera and ballet inquiry has been going on for more than two years, but I am told that if we can be patient we shall have the report in two months. The other has been going on for more than a year. It is a complicated and difficult matter, and I am told that the report is likely to be issued about the middle of this year.

Mr. Henig

Is my right hon. Friend aware that despite all her efforts an unduly high percentage of public money spent on the arts is still spent in the London area? Can my right hon. Friend do a little more to encourage spending on the arts in areas like the North-West?

Miss Lee

I hope that all my colleagues are listening, because although I do not think that too much is being spent in the London area, I should be grateful for any additions from any direction to increase other spending.