HC Deb 27 February 1989 vol 148 cc15-6
59. Mr. Baldry

To ask the Minister for the Arts whether he will make a statement on the results of the Arts Council symposium on ethnic minority arts.

Mr. Luce

I was able to attend this particular symposium with my hon. Friend the Member for Oxford, West and Abingdon (Mr. Patten). The council reaffirmed its determination to pursue equality of opportunity across all areas of the arts.

Mr. Baldry

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for that reply and I am sure that he and the rest of the Treasury team are doing all they can to promote opportunities in ethnic minority arts. Does my right hon. Friend agree that one purpose of promoting opportunities in ethnic minority art is to achieve a greater understanding and tolerance of each other's cultures? If we do not learn to understand, tolerate and live with each other's cultures, we shall return to the dark ages.

Mr. Luce

I must agree with my hon. Friend. There is no shadow of doubt that Chinese, Asian and Afro-Caribbean cultures all have contributions to make to the culture of this country. The Arts Council is right to promote these policies, provided that they are based on the principle of equality of opportunity, which they are, and provided that any funds directed towards artistic organisations are based on the artistic merits of those organisations.

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