§ Mr. Trotter
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if, in view of the funding of recent events such as the Amazing Professor Crump, Fork-beard Fantasy and the John Bull Puncture Repair Kit as being examples of "performance art", she will seek to amend the basis upon which the Arts Council is allowed to spend its grant so as to produce a greater degree of departmental control on the Council's spending; and if she will make a statement.
§ Miss Margaret Jackson
No. The Arts Council of Great Britain is an independent body operating under Royal Charter. It assesses regularly the artistic activities that it subsidises, including performance art—which receives in total 0.2 per cent, of the Council's grant-in-aid—in order to decide whether they should continue to be supported.
The Chairman has recently emphasised that the Council must be satisfied that grant-aided activities contain an element of vision, imagination or insight which validates them as attempts to create works of art. My right hon. Friend and my noble Friend are convinced that the Arts Council is the right body to make such judgments, under the provisions of its charter.