§ Mr. Cormack
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress has been made in the negotiation over the acceptance of Kedleston hall, its parklands and some of its principal contents by the nation in lieu of tax liabilities; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Macfarlane
I have been asked to reply.
My right hon. Friend and I visited Kedleston in May of this year and assured Lord Scarsdale that the Government shared his hopes that a solution could be found which secured the future of Kedleston hall and its contents for the nation, retained its historic link with the Curzon family and satisfied the outstanding tax liability on the estate. The National Heritage Memorial Fund was subsequently asked to prepare a report on the costs of several different methods of achieving these objectives. I understand that following receipt of certain financial information from a number of parties, including the trustees of the Kedleston estate that report should be available by the end of this month. Thereafter negotiations will proceed at a pace dictated by the co-operation of the several parties involved the availability of resources and the need to obtain the court's approval to any scheme that emerges.