HC Deb 13 November 1969 vol 791 cc605-6
30. Mr. Faulds

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science, whether he will provide capital development grants to provincial museums and art galleries for the improvement of display facilities and the modernisation of premises.

Miss Jennie Lee

Provincial museums and art galleries are primarily a matter for the local authorities and other local organisations responsible for them. I am very much concerned to encourage local interests to support their local museums and galleries in every possible way.

Mr. Faulds

Whilst accepting the principle that local authorities are responsible for the arts, would my right hon. Friend not agree that she has already breached that principle as regards housing the arts. Why should she not extend that breach in this respect?

Miss Lee

Museums and galleries have been a traditional responsibility of local authorities and local interests. Many of our theatres were in danger of closing down. The Housing the Arts Fund has made it possible, by a combined operation of central and local funds, to maintain or establish theatres which would otherwise not have been there.