Works of Art

Oral Answers to Questions — House of Commons – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 15 January 1996.

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Photo of Dr Charles Goodson-Wickes Dr Charles Goodson-Wickes , Wimbledon 12:00, 15 January 1996

To ask the right hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed, representing the House of Commons Commission, what recent provisions have been made in the past two financial years for acquisitions of works of art. [7474]

Photo of Alan Beith Alan Beith Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs)

The financial provision for works of art in 1994–95 was £37,000, including some £17,000 specifically for 7 Millbank. In 1995–96, the provision is £50,000.

Photo of Dr Charles Goodson-Wickes Dr Charles Goodson-Wickes , Wimbledon

May I thank the right hon. Gentleman for that answer? He will be aware of the admirable work done by the House of Commons Works of Art Committee, chaired by my hon. Friend the Member for South Staffordshire (Sir P. Cormack), especially in commissioning works to fill gaps that have been identified for this century. Will the right hon. Gentleman assure the House that the Commission will seek adequate funding for the new parliamentary building so that similar gaps do not appear in the next century?

Photo of Alan Beith Alan Beith Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs)

The experience of 7 Millbank and 1 Parliament street suggests that the Commission and the Finance and Services Committee will try to meet reasonable requirements to display good works of art in the new building. I know that the Works of Art Committee works hard and drives a hard bargain on behalf of the House in trying to make that possible.