§ Mr. ASHLEY
asked the Secretary to the Treasury what were the Exchequer disbursements in the year 1913–14 needed to maintain the London public museums and art galleries; and what sum it is estimated will be saved in the financial year 1916–17 by closing the greater part of them?
Mr. McKINNON WOOD
Apart from purchase grants, the net cost to the Exchequer in 1913–14 of the British Museum (including the National History Museum), the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, the Wallace Collection, and the London Museum, was approximately £287,000. The direct savings resulting from closing some of these museums to the public are estimated at approximately £50,000 per annum, in addition to which a large economy results from freeing staff, and in several cases accommodation for purposes of immediate national importance at the present time.