§ Mr. Denzil Freeth
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will make a statement about special Exchequer assistance towards purchases by the British Museum.
§ Mr. Maurice Macmillan
Yes. The British Museum had the opportunity recently to make four purchases of exceptional importance; a medieval gittern, a set of Romanesque whalebone panels, probably of 12th century British workmanship, and two drawings by Pieter Bruegel the Elder and by Raphael, respectively. I have agreed, subject to the approval of Parliament, to make a special grant of £48,000 towards the total cost of these purchases. A Supplementary Estimate will be laid before Parliament as soon as possible. The balance of funds required will be provided by the British Museum from their own resources, with the help of generous contributions from the National Art-Collections Fund and the Pilgrim Trust.