HC Deb 10 November 1953 vol 520 cc31-2W
93. Mr. C. S. Taylor

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why the grant to the Soane Museum has been increased to £4,400 for 1953–54, from £2,950 for 1952–53.

Mr. R. A. Butler

To cover the cost of repairs to the building, some redecoration and a reprint of the guide to the collection.

94. Mr. C. S. Taylor

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer why the number of messengers at the British Museum has increased from 78 in 1952–53 to 84 in 1953–54.

Mr. R. A. Butler

The increase in the Estimate provision, to which my hon. Friend refers, relates to housemen who are responsible for cleaning. This staff was reduced from 95 in 1951–52, but experience showed that the reduced staff were insufficient.

Mr. Llewellyn

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will consult the museum authorities with a view to devising a scheme whereby pictures and objects of art which have not been exhibited for many years may be hired by public and private institutions, subject to appropriate safeguards.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Almost all the national museums and galleries already have powers of lending, which vary according to the scope and nature of the collections. It would be difficult to frame a general scheme appropriate to such widely differing institutions as the British Museum, the Imperial War Museum and the picture galleries, but I will bring the suggestion to the notice of the individual museum authorities.

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