HC Deb 21 February 1978 vol 944 cc627-8W
Mr. Cormack

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether, in view of her willingness to subscribe half the purchase price of the pictures of Warwick Castle by Canaletto which the Birmingham Art Gallery and the Ashmolean Museum are seeking to acquire, she will, in the event of the respective institutions being unable to raise the balance, make founds available for the outright purchase of one of the pictures on condion that it is displayed for half the year at each institution.

Mr. Oakes

No decision has yet been taken on the level of Government assistance which might be offered to the Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery and the Ashamolean Museum from the Victoria and Albert Museum fund to assist local purchases. As I said in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Warley, East (Mr. Faulds) on 2nd Feb ruary—[Vol. 943, c.293]—my right, hon. Friend has no plans to change the present arrangement whereby for purchases by local museums the total contribution from central Government funds is normally limited to 50 per cent. of the purchase price of each individual work of art concerned.