HC Deb 11 September 1942 vol 383 cc543-4W
Sir E. Graham-Little

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the reduction of the grant to the Imperial Institute has obliged the Institute to discontinue its Empire Lecture Scheme as from the 1st April 1941, after it had operated for 10 months, during which time audiences aggregating 50,000, mostly schoolchildren had been secured; and whether, in view of the financial support proposed for the distribution in schools of text-books on Russian history and Communist propaganda, he will consider the desirability of restoring the lectures upon the British Empire, which the Institute would like to revive?

Mr. Johnstone

As Minister responsible for the Imperial Institute, I have been asked to reply. Since 1933 the Imperial Institute has sustained no reduction in its grant-in-aid. The inception in June 1940 of the scheme of school lectures to make better known the British Empire, its resources and peoples, owed its origin to the closure, due to the war, of the Exhibition Galleries and the consequent curtailment of this part of the Institute's activities, and involved additional expenditure. The Ministry of Information found the moneys necessary to finance the cost of this scheme from its inception in June 1940 until March 1941, when it was temporarily discontinued. In July 1941 the Leverhulme Trustees very generously made a grant of £1,000, which rendered possible the revival and continuance of the scheme for one year. They quite recently made a similar grant, which assures the continuance at least until August, 1943.