HC Deb 27 January 1988 vol 126 c294
3. Mr. Tom Clarke

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the future of the Scottish Film Council, and the proposal to amalgamate that body with the Scottish Arts Council.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Michael Forsyth)

I shall make an announcement shortly on the Government's response to the report of a policy review of the Scottish Film Council which was carried out last year.

Mr. Clarke

Will the Minister provide the Library with a copy of the review? Does he accept than no one who knows anything about film in Scotland — from film makers to consumers, to educationists and to those involved in film archives — supports the proposal for amalgamation? Does he further accept that although the proposals may be convenient to bureaucrats at St. Andrew's House, and even at the Treasury, it offers no help whatever to an organisation that has done much to promote film in Scotland and beyond since 1934?

Mr. Forsyth

The proposal for a merger of the Scottish Film Council with the Scottish Arts Council is only one of a number of options put forward. The hon. Gentleman does the review an injustice by concentrating on that alone, as the review has been warmly welcomed by the council.

Mr. Clarke

The report is not in the Library. No one has read it.

Mr. Forsyth

If the hon. Gentleman will allow me to answer the question, I shall try to answer the points that he has put.

The review has been warmly welcomed by the council, and I can assure the hon. Gentleman that the arguments that he has advanced and the various options are under consideration at the moment, and we expect to make an announcement shortly.

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