European Year of Music

Oral Answers to Questions — The Arts – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 31st October 1983.

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Photo of Sir David Price Sir David Price , Eastleigh 12:00 am, 31st October 1983

asked the Under-Secretary of State answering in respect of the Arts what support he proposes to give to the European Year of Music; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr William Waldegrave Mr William Waldegrave , Bristol West

My noble Friend met the chairman of the United Kingdom organising committee, HRH The Duke of Kent, last week. The Minister believes that the extensive programme being devised will be attractive to business sponsorship. Public financial support will need to be considered in the context of the arts budgets for 1984–85 and 1985–86.

Photo of Sir David Price Sir David Price , Eastleigh

Is my hon. Friend aware that a modest public investment in European music might bring more happiness and light into Europe than the common agricultural policy? Will he also remember that Shakespeare told us definitely that music is the food of love?

Photo of Mr William Waldegrave Mr William Waldegrave , Bristol West

I do not know whether that is a matter for my Department. My hon. Friend will le aware that my noble Friend has had a word with the Duke of Kent about this. Funding will probably come in general through the Arts Council budget. Because of the efforts of my hon. Friends the Members for Eastleigh (Sir D. Price) and for Twickenham (Mr. Jessel), who are members of the international organising committee of the year, we shall be kept up to date with needs and plans.

Photo of Mr Toby Jessel Mr Toby Jessel , Twickenham

Is my hon. Friend aware that it is hoped that 1985—the European Year of Music—will be a great festival of professional and amateur music throughout Europe, that all schools will make a major musical effort, that the broadcasting authorities will participate and that the 22 countries of free Europe will issue special stamps? Will the Government do their best to give the year a fair wind?

Photo of Mr William Waldegrave Mr William Waldegrave , Bristol West

Yes. I pay tribute again to my hon. Friend's contribution to the European Year of Music. There is great room for business sponsorship of the various projects that are being planned.