§ 58. Mr. Winnick
To ask the Minister for the Arts what further representations he has received over the funding of the British Theatre Association library.
§ Mr. Winnick
Is the Minister aware of the tremendous loss that would result if the association and the library were forced to close? How optimistic is the Minister that a solution will be found in the very near future? Will the right hon. Gentleman accept that tremendous anxiety is felt, not only in the theatre world—where, as he must be aware, it certainly exists—but more widely? Scholarship is at stake, and one hopes that a solution will be found in the next few weeks.
§ Mr. Luce
To my surprise, I agree with much of what the hon. Gentleman said. I certainly accept that the library and information services provided by the British Theatre Association library have been valuable, not only to professionals in the theatre, but to amateur dramatic societies around the country, for which they provide an important information service. I have instructed the British library to work intensively with the British Theatre Association library and other organisations with a view to seeking a viable solution. I have recently had meetings with the director, chairman and president of the British Theatre Association library, as well as British library officials, and I am confident that a viable solution will be found from one of the options that are being considered.