HL Deb 11 September 1972 vol 335 cc3-4

2.40 p.m.


My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are aware that admission to the National Army Museum is being advertised as free till the end of the year; and whether they will confirm that it is not proposed to introduce entrance charges in 1973.


My Lords, I am not clear to what advertisement the noble Lord refers but the National Army Museum is not one of the museums covered by the White Paper on future policy for Museums and Galleries. The charging of admission fees is at the discretion of the Council of the Museum.


My Lords, I thank the noble Lord for that reply. Arising out of it, may I ask him whether he is aware that the National Army Museum is advertised in the way I have described inWhat's On in London dated August 25? Secondly, may I ask him whether he is aware that this very fine museum, which was opened as a result of the efforts of Field Marshal Sir Gerald Templer, with the support of generous public subscription, has very few visitors; and can the Department do something to ensure that it receives more publicity?


My Lords, with regard to the first supplementary question of the noble Lord, I was not aware of that fact, but I can tell him that the decision on charges is of course one for the Trustees of the museum. I understand that they see no objection in principle, but they have as yet made no firm decision. With regard to the noble Lord's second question, I heartily endorse what he has said about the excellence of the National Army Museum. and the fact that it is entirely due to the efforts of Sir Gerald Templer—and others who have helped him of course—in getting subscriptions for the Army Museum—that it exists at all. Anything we can do to publicise it we shall certainly do, and I hope that the fact that the noble Lord has asked this supplementary question will go some way towards that end.


My Lords, in asking the noble Lord to do what he can for the National Army Museum, may I also ask him to undertake to provide equal support to the new R.A.F. Museum which,pari passu owes so much to the energies of Sir Dermot Boyle and which will be a very fine museum?


My Lords, the R.A.F. Museum is being opened by Her Majesty the Queen later this year and I shall, I hope, have the honour to attend that opening. I have no doubt that as Sir Gerald Templer must be very pleased with what he has done for the Army Museum, so, too, is Sir Dermot Boyle with the R.A.F. Museum.