HC Deb 12 June 1945 vol 411 cc1482-3W
Mr. Brooke

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether any decision has been reached as to the future of the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts.

Sir J. Anderson

I have recently considered this matter in consultation with my right hon. Friends the then Minister of Education and the then Secretary of State for Scotland. The present Council was set up to maintain the standard and the national tradition of the arts under war conditions. The experience thus gained seemed to us to show that there will be a lasting need after the war for a body of this kind to encourage knowledge, understanding and practice of the arts in the broad sense of that term. It was accordingly decided to incorporate the Council with this object and with the name of the Arts Council of Great Britain. The present Council has been financed by a grant in aid on the Vote for the Ministry of Education, but we reached the conclusion that the grants in aid of the new Council would be more appropriately provided on the Treasury Vote, on which grants in aid of a number of cultural and scientific bodies are already borne. This would involve a change, after the present financial year, in the Ministerial responsibility to Parliament. The association of the Education Departments with the work of the Council would, however, be maintained, by arranging that appointments to membership of the Council should be made in consultation with the Ministers responsible for those Departments and that those Ministers should each nominate one of their senior officers to attend meetings of the Council to keep them in touch with the work of the Council and to be the medium of consultation when important questions of policy were being considered. My Noble Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and my right hon. Friend the Minister of Education have informed me of their concurrence in these proposals.