HC Deb 12 November 1969 vol 791 c395
29. Mr. Kenneth Lewis

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works how many of the buildings under his Department which are open to the public on a paying basis make a profit; and whether he will list the costs and revenues in each case.

Mr. John Silkin

None, Sir.

Mr. Lewis

That is a surprising answer. Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in the private sector there are many profitable activities in this connection? Is he satisfied that where the Ministry is involved the venture is as profitable as those in the private sector?

Mr. Silkin

Yes, Sir, I think so, but at the same time I conceive it to be the duty of my Department also to render a service which perhaps private individuals do not need to give; namely, to preserve the great and glorious heritage of our ancient monuments.

Mr. McNamara

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there are many people who do not like wild life parks with lions, and zoos, and would far rather have ancient and beautiful buildings?

Mr. Silkin

This is all a matter of taste.