HC Deb 13 February 1983 vol 54 cc19-20
31. Mr. David Atkinson

asked the Under-Secretary of State answering in respect of the Arts what is Her Majesty's Government's response to the request of the Greek Government for the return of the Elgin Marbles.

Mr. Waldegrave

I refer my hon. Friend to my reply earlier today.

Mr. Atkinson

Does my hon. Friend agree that the Greek Government's request would have been more credible if it had landed on the desks of the Governments of all nine countries that hold Elgin marbles?

Mr. Waldegrave

It is perhaps a little confusing to say "hold Elgin marbles". It would perhaps be better to say "hold parts of the Parthenon marbles". The point is well taken. There are several other European countries which have significant parts of the marbles which were formerly on the Parthenon.

Mr. Ray Powell

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. May I draw your attention to the inadequate time that we have had at Welsh Question Time to deal with the number of important questions that are down on the Order Paper today, particularly those dealing with unemployment? Will you give serious consideration to extending Welsh Question Time?

Mr. Speaker

Order. The amount of time for Welsh questions is a matter for the usual channels. I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman was present earlier when we were discussing questions Nos. 1 and 2, but I allowed a fairly long run on the subject of the Welsh water authority, and I then said that we would have to get on. As a matter of interest to the hon. Gentleman, and perhaps to other Welsh Members, I think I managed, with the exception of the hon. Member for Clwyd, South-West (Mr. Harvey), to ensure that every hon. Member with a question on the Order Paper was called.

Mr. Tony Banks

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker, and in support of it. Would it not be better, in view of the growing interest in Arts Question Time, if a special time allocation were made for the Arts that was somewhat longer than we have at present? That would allow a longer time for Welsh questions.

Mr. Speaker

I say again that the allocation of time is a matter for the usual channels.