HL Deb 23 January 1973 vol 338 cc3-4

2.37 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 will consider the establishment of a National Photographic Archive.


No, my Lords. Photographs are best collected in a number of archives with special objectives. I am, however, considering whether it would be practicable to set up some form of guide to collections.


My Lords, while thanking the noble Viscount for that reply, may I ask him whether the Government would consider providing funds to erect a central register of existing photographic archives, with a comprehensive catalogue?


My Lords, we are considering where such a register—of course it could not be complete because there are far too many photographs; but a comprehensive guide—could best be established. It may be that the British Library is the place to take charge of this project.


My Lords, has the noble Viscount seen the letter in The Times from the Director of the Oldham Museum, which incidentally, was opened by me just three months ago as a special museum of local interest with a substantial collection of photographic material? Will he bear in mind what an ideal centre this would be in the North? And will he also visit it? Indeed, now that the Government have turned Socialist, he might, while he is there, look in the Labour Party offices for a cup of coffee.


My Lords, it is a pure accident that we have been thinking about the amenities in Oldham; and I am glad to hear about the new museum.