HC Deb 10 April 1940 vol 359 cc602-4W
Mr. Lees-Smith

asked the President of the Board of Education whether he has any statement to make as to Government assistance towards the work initiated by the Pilgrim Trust for the encouragement of music and the arts?

Mr. Ramsbotham

Yes, Sir. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has agreed to supplement the sum made available by the Pilgrim Trust for this purpose, and any sums similarly forthcoming from other voluntary sources, by an equal contribution from the Exchequer up to a maximum of £50,000. I am glad to say that the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust has expressed its interest in the scheme, and I hope that the Trustees will agree to find, if not the whole, at least a very substantial part of the sum of £25,000 which is to be raised from voluntary sources if the full Treasury grant is to be secured, thus enabling us to see our way to a total fund of £100,000, of which some £20,000 contributed by the Pilgrim Trust has already been expended. The Carnegie Trustees will not be meeting for some weeks, but their Chairman has informed me that, after consultation with the individual members of his Executive Committee, he feels justified in putting forward a proposal on these lines for their most sympathetic consideration.

I should like to take this opportunity of expressing my warmest appreciation to both bodies of Trustees of their ready and generous interest. In consultation with the two bodies, I am setting up a small Council, under the chairmanship of Lord Macmillan, to supervise the administration of the fund. Dr. Thomas Jones, Secretary of the Pilgrim Trust, will act as Vice-Chairman, and the following have consented to serve as members:

Sir Kenneth Barnes.

The hon. Member for East Islington (Miss Cazalet).

Earl of Crawford and Balcarres.

Sir Walford Davies.

Miss Margery Fry.

Mr. J. Wilkie.

The Carnegie Trustees would be represented by a trustee with Mr. Wilkie their Secretary; two senior officers of the Board of Education will assist the Council as assessors. It is contemplated that the Council will have the services of panels of experts to deal with various aspects of their work.