HC Deb 12 July 1961 vol 644 cc55-6W
Sir H. Kerr

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a further statement about a national theatre.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

I have informed the Chairman of the L.C.C. that the Government would be prepared to join with them in considering a scheme to embrace the Old Vic, the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford on Avon, and Sadler's Wells.

As I informed the hon. Lady the Member for Flint, East (Mrs. White) on 4th July, I would not in any event be prepared to agree to more than the sum of £1 million already approved by Parliament towards capital costs nor could I agree to increase the sum by way of annual subvention already contemplated in accordance with my statement of 21st March. I have made it clear to the Chairman of the L.C.C. that this limit would allow the Government for their part to guarantee to provide an annual subvention of up to £400,000 to cover drama and opera (including any ballet) at the headquarters of the institutions concerned, but not expenditure on provincial touring, which would be provided for separately.

I must emphasise that I am not prepared to contemplate any further increase in these figures. Covent Garden and the Royal Ballet will continue to be provided for separately.