Oral Answers to Questions — Museums and Galleries (Standing Commission's Report)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 8th April 1954.

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Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames 12:00 am, 8th April 1954

I am glad to say that I agree with you, Mr. Speaker.

With regard to the British Museum, including the Natural History Museum, the Trustees sent to my right hon. Friend in October last a comprehensive appraisal of the museum's needs. Regard was had to this when the provision for the current financial year was settled, although I should not claim that we were able to provide for all that the Trustees would have wished to see done. Nevertheless, the net provision this year, at £740,000, shows an increase of 11 per cent. over 1953–54 and of 48 per cent. over 1949–50; staff numbers will be increased by 42. Building work will begin on the reconstruction of the Greek and Roman Rooms at the British Museum and the East Wing Herbarium at the Natural History Museum.

Though a good deal has been done, we realise that there is a great deal more which it would be desirable to do, and we shall continue to deal with the claims of our national museums and galleries as sympathetically as the general economic situation allows.