HC Deb 16 July 1984 vol 64 cc19-20
31. Mr. Tony Banks

asked the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State answering in respect of the Arts what funds have been made available by the Arts Council to the 7:84, Temba and CAST theatre companies in the last year.

Mr. Waldegrave

In 1983–84 the subsidies received by these three companies were £89,100, £69,300 and £45,540 respectively.

Mr. Banks

Is it not a fact that, because of the representations made by various Ministers, the Arts Council has clearly, in its document "Glory of the Garden", set out to eliminate political theatre? Do not the figures that the Minister has given relate to political theatre? Would the Minister care to comment on the instructions issued by Westminster city council, which show clearly that it is placing political limitations on theatre grants, as it has said that it will not give grants to any theatre that does not come up to the political standards that it has set?

Mr. Waldegrave

The answer to the second question is, no, as that is not a matter for me. The answer to the first question is that the hon. Gentleman has, not uncharacteristically, shot himself in the foot. He has explained to us on many occasions how one could not stop political theatre in this country unless one were to stop the production of Shakespeare.