Clause 2. — (Transfer to Board of Colections of London and Guildhall Museums and Benefit of Certain Funds.)

Part of Orders of the Day — MUSEUM OF LONDON BILL [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 10th May 1965.

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Photo of Mr Niall MacDermot Mr Niall MacDermot , Derby North 12:00 am, 10th May 1965

These Amendments arise from the decision that Ministerial responsibility for the arts should be transferred from the Treasury to the Department of Education and Science. That Department will undertake the functions which under the Bill as at present drafted would be undertaken by the Treasury.

In Committee I canvassed the possibility that certain of these functions might be retained by the Treasury, but after considering the matter further it seemed better that they should all be transferred. The one we had in mind that might be retained were those dealing with the control of salaries of staff, but, as the staff are not to be civil servants, and the new museum, as the House knows, will be jointly controlled by three authorities, the central Government, the Greater London Council, and the City of London, it seemed to us on the whole preferable that all the functions should be transferred.

The Amendments therefore substitute the words "Secretary of State" for "Treasury" throughout, except in the case of one Amendment, where it is more convenient to rephrase the reference to the National Gallery and Tate Gallery Act, 1954. There is no Amendment to Clause 1, which provides for six of the governors of the new museum to be appointed by the Prime Minister. That power of appointment will remain, as in the case of other national museums and galleries.

In Committee I said that it was the intention that the Amendment should be dealt with by the Transfer of Functions Order, but in the event the time factor made this impossible, because the Order had to come forward before the Bill could get through its remaining stages.