HC Deb 20 November 1964 vol 702 c99W
Mr. G. R. Strauss

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement about Government assistance to the National Gallery towards the purchase of a picture by Cezanne.

Mr. MacDermot

Yes. The National Gallery has for some months been negotiating for the purchase of an outstanding late painting by Cezanne, known as "Les Grandes Baigneuses". A private donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, is most generously contributing nearly half the total purchase price. The National Gallery Trustees have undertaken to provide £25,000 from the Gallery's present resources and to contribute £100,000 from their purchase grant for 1965–66 towards the cost of the picture. In view of the great importance which the Trustees attach to this acquisition, the Government have decided to authorise, subject to the approval of Parliament, a special grant of £125,000. A Supplementary Estimate will be presented in due course. Meanwhile the amount of the special grant, together with an advance of £100,000 against the Gallery's purchase grant for 1965–66, will be made available from the Civil Contingencies Fund.