HC Deb 12 December 1983 vol 50 cc670-1
26. Sir David Price

asked the Under-Secretary of State answering in respect of the Arts whether the Government are yet in a position to make a statement on the Priestley report into the financial affairs of the Royal Opera House and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Environment (Mr. William Waldegrave)

My noble Friend hopes to be able to make a statement before the Christmas recess.

Sir David Price

Can my hon. Friend give any idea whether the Government accept the proposal of the Priestley committee that funding of the Royal Opera House and the Royal Shakespeare Company should be put on a three-year basis instead of an annual one? If they accept that, will they apply the same reasoning to the entire funding of the Arts Council?

Mr. Waldegrave

I shall draw my noble Friend's attention to what my hon. Friend has said. My hon. Friend will be aware of the difficulties associated with giving three-year guarantees of expenditure in present circumstances.

Mr. Dalyell

Will there be a financial covenant for the Scottish Opera in the Minister's statement?

Mr. Waldegrave

I must leave it to my noble Friend to make his statement in due course.

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