Oral Answers to Questions — Craft Industries (Assistance)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th June 1965.

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Photo of Mr John Cordle Mr John Cordle , Bournemouth East and Christchurch 12:00 am, 29th June 1965

asked the Prime Minister which Department is now to be responsible for official assistance to the craft industries.

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

The Board of Trade retains general responsibility for the craft industries but Departmental responsibility for granting financial assistance would depend upon the particular purpose for which the assistance was required.

Photo of Mr John Cordle Mr John Cordle , Bournemouth East and Christchurch

Is the Prime Minister aware that the Crafts Council was inaugurated only a year ago as an independent body financed from private sources? Is he prepared to consider making a grant direct from the Board of Trade or the appropriate Ministry?

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

I think that the hon. Gentleman knows that when I was at the Board of Trade we instituted a Government grant to the Crafts Council, I think in 1948, and this was abolished in 1963. The hon. Gentleman is very active in this matter and I pay tribute to the work which he is doing. Whilst I cannot give a promise that there will be any assistance in the present case, we are always ready to consider requests for financial assistance in appropriate cases affecting crafts.

Photo of Hon. Nicholas Ridley Hon. Nicholas Ridley , Cirencester and Tewkesbury

Would the Prime Minister clarify his original Answer? Which Department would receive a deputation from the Council, composed of hon. Members from both sides of the House, in order to discuss a grant?

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

Obviously it would be the Board of Trade. As I said in my Answer, it has general responsibility and in 1948 it gave a grant. This was ended in 1963.