HC Deb 18 October 1982 vol 29 cc17-8
24. Mr. Jessel

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the progress of the arrangements for European Music Year 1985.

Mr. Channon

The United Kingdom committee for European Music Year is already active under the chairmanship of his Royal Highness the Duke of Kent. The United Kingdom is also represented on the European organising committee by my hon. Friend the Member for Twickenham (Mr. Jessel) and I should like to congratulate him on his untiring work in this field.

Mr. Jessel

I thank my right hon. Friend for his congratulations and, in turn, congratulate him and the Arts Council on the fact that the British committee, in its preparations for 1985, is far ahead of all others. Apart from the major role of professional music in European Music Year, is it the intention of the Department of Education and Science to encourage local education authorities and schools to make a major musical effort in 1985?

Mr. Channon

This must be right. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science has approved, as a member of the United Kingdom committee for European Music Year, a staff inspector for music who has been asked to take the chair for education. I think that this well takes care of my hon. Friend's question.

Mr. Beith

Would not the best contribution of the right hon. Gentleman's Department be to review the effect of cuts on musical instrument teaching and the pros ision of peripatetic music teachers in schools? Will he make use of European Music Year to take action?

Mr. Channon

The hon. Gentleman has a good point. I am also flattered that he should think that I shall still be Minister for the Arts in 1985.

Sir David Price

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is no country where amateur music-making is more important than the United Kingdom and that there is also no country where closer accord exists between amateur and professional music-makers? Will he ensure that amateur music-makers play an important part in his plans for European Music Year?

Mr. Channon

That is mainly a matter for the committee. I agree with my hon. Friend. Amateur music-makers are represented on the committee.

Mr. Pavitt

Will the activities of the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music be co-ordinated through the Arts Council? Will the Minister call for reports from time to time, prior to the commencement of European Music Year, to see what is happening in our major institutions?

Mr. Channon

The Royal Academy of Music and, I believe, the Royal College—although I will have to check—are represented on the committee that is organising European Music Year. Their views will be well known. I understand that the Royal College is represented. This need not go through the Arts Council. There will be full representation on the European Music Year committee.

Forward to