§ Mr. Legg
To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage how many indemnity undertakings were given by Departments under section 16 of the National Heritage Act 1980 for the six-month period ended 30 September; and what was the value of(a) any contingent liabilities in respect of such undertakings given at any time under that section which remain outstanding as at 30 September and (b) non-statutory Government indemnities in respect of loans handled by the Government art collection which remain outstanding as at 30 September. 
§ Mrs. Virginia Bottomley
The provision for the Government indemnity scheme is made by the National Heritage Act 1980. The scheme facilitates public access to loans of works of art and other items for public display made to museums, galleries and other such institutions by private owners and non-national institutions. It does this by indemnifying lenders against loss or damage to their loan. Loans covered by the scheme must be for public benefit. The scheme also covers loans of such objects for study purposes within institutions where this would contribute materially to the public's understanding or appreciation of the loan—for example through a scholarly publication.
In the six-month period ended 30 September 1996, the following undertakings to indemnify were given by the relevant Departments for objects on loan to national and non-national institutions:
Numbers Department of National Heritage 453 Scottish Office Education Department 164 Welsh Office Education Department 70 Department of Education for Northern Ireland 30
The value of contingent liabilities in respect of such undertakings given at any time under section 16 and which remain outstanding at 30 September are:
£ Department of National Heritage 1,388,795,250 Scottish Office Education Department 348,112,981 Welsh Office Education Department 49,547,929 Department of Education for Northern Ireland 7,013,664
The value of non-statutory Government indemnities to cover loans handled by the Government art collection and which were outstanding at 30 September 1996 is:Value: £9,000,000.