HC Deb 22 June 1965 vol 714 c170W
43. Mr. Charles R. Morris

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what were the considerations which led the Standing Commission on Museums and Galleries to allocate the picture, Portrait of a Notary, to Quentin Matsys, acquired by the nation from the Spencer-Churchill estate under the provisions of the Finance Act, 1956, to the Scottish National Collection rather than to the Manchester City Art Gallery; and, in view of the disquiet which this decision has aroused in the provinces, if he will set up an inquiry into the functioning of the Standing Commission.

Mr. MacDermot

My information is that the Standing Commission gave full consideration to the claim of the Manchester Gallery. The Commission's recommendation was based on the Edinburgh Gallery's need for a really important Flemish picture, and particularly a portrait, of this period to strengthen the existing Flemish room. I do not think that an inquiry into the functioning of the Standing Commission is called for, but we are reviewing together with the Commission the arrangements whereby the Government and the Commission are made aware of the interest of provincial galleries in works of art offered in lieu of estate duty.