Hayward Gallery

Oral Answers to Questions — The Arts – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 19th November 1984.

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Photo of Mr Toby Jessel Mr Toby Jessel , Twickenham 12:00 am, 19th November 1984

asked the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State answering in respect of the Arts if, following legislation on local government in Greater London, the Government still intend that the Hayward gallery shall be managed under the auspices of the Arts Council.

Photo of Mr Toby Jessel Mr Toby Jessel , Twickenham

Does my hon. Friend agree that the GLC's attempt to expel the Arts Council of Great Britain— which has to prepare important art exhibitions two or three years ahead— from the Hayward gallery at a few months' notice is an act of uncivilised vandalism, which shows that the GLC is wholly unfit to run any serious art gallery, or anything else?

Photo of Mr William Waldegrave Mr William Waldegrave , Bristol West

The GLC group concerned has made rather a fool of itself over this issue. The matter is subject to litigation. The Arts Council may be serving writs the other way. Such reputation as the GLC has in this area has been severely damaged by its behaviour over the Hayward gallery.

Photo of Mr Tony Banks Mr Tony Banks , Newham North West

Is the Minister aware that some 18 months ago the Arts Council, in the form of its chair, said that it wanted to get out of both the Hayward and the Serpentine galleries? Is he also aware that the GLC has said that all contractual obligations to the Arts Council will be honoured? I do not see how that fits in with the question.

Photo of Mr William Waldegrave Mr William Waldegrave , Bristol West

I am aware that the GLC's lawyers have now told the GLC something about the law of contract, which has influenced its position somewhat. I think that the position of the Arts Council is related to the proposals put forward by the GLC and is not an abstract one.