HC Deb 05 March 1970 vol 797 cc598-9
5. Mr. Silvester

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will take steps to secure an adequate deposit of films in the National Films Archive.

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

The Government are providing next year an extra £22,750 for the duplication of nitrate film and £29,000 for four new storage vaults. The Television Fund is giving a grant of £30,000 to the Archive over three years for the purchase of selected Independent Television programmes. This is all progress in the right direction and I hope that the film industry will continue, and increase, its support for the work of the Archive by voluntarily depositing copies of films.

Mr. Silvester

Does the right hon. Lady recognise that the provision of archives should perhaps represent the first call on the State's support of the arts? Does she consider that these grants are sufficient to keep pace with demands for future films, even if they do not cover the backlog of old films?

Miss Lee

The hon. Gentleman has stated a personal view and this is, of course, a matter of priorities. We are moving in the right direction. The Government have provided more help in this respect than ever before. I believe that relations between the commercial film industry and the State-subsidised part of it are improving and that all of this will have an effect on the Archive.