§ 4.9 p.m.
§ Order of the Day read for the consideration of Commons Amendments.
§ LORD CHAMPION
My Lords, I beg to move that the Commons Amendments be now considered. On this Motion I should like to speak to all the Amendments on the Marshalled List. They all arise from the decision that ministerial responsibility for the Arts should be transferred from the Treasury to the Department of Education and Science. In relation to other national museums and galleries governed by Statute, the decision has been reflected in the Transfer of Functions (Cultural Institutions) Order, 1965, which came into operation on April 1, and which will by to-morrow have been 394 before Parliament for the required forty days without being annulled.
As regards the Museum of London, the Department of Education and Science will undertake all the functions which under the Bill as drafted would be undertaken by the Treasury. The Amendments, therefore, substitute "Secretary of State" for "Treasury" throughout the Bill, except in Clause 7(1) where it is more convenient to rephrase the reference to the National Gallery and Tate Gallery Act, 1954. In accordance with usual practice, no particular Secretary of State is specified, because constitutionally the office of Secretary of State is indivisible and each Secretary of State can perform the functions of any other; but it will certainly be the Secretary of State for Education and Science who is concerned here. No Amendment is proposed under Clause 1, which provides for six of the Governors of the new Museum to be appointed by the Prime Minister. These appointments will remain with the Prime Minister, as in the case of the national museums and galleries.
I should like here to ask leave of the House to move the Amendments en bloc. If no noble Lord dissents from that course, I will follow it after the Motion "That the Commons Amendments be now considered" has been agreed to.
§ Moved, That the Commons Amendments be now considered.—(Lord Champion.)
§ LORD NEWTON
My Lords, I certainly would have no objection to the noble Lord moving his Amendments en bloc, and I do not imagine that any of your Lordships would object to it.
§ On Question, Motion agreed to.