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Lord Phillips of Sudbury: I should like to speak to the two other amendments in this group, Amendments Nos. 453ZA and 453A. Amendment No. 453A, to some extent, reflects the amendment moved by the noble Lord, Lord Ponsonby, on which I shall comment shortly.
Amendment No. 453ZA would seek to add music to the list of those cultural activities in respect of which the cultural strategy group is empowered to develop policies. Like other noble Lords, I have listened several times to the Government's approach to any "tampering", as they appear to see it, with the magnificent list of arts and cultural activities in Clause 301(5). As a lawyer, I am deeply unimpressed. In modern psychological jargon, there is a degree of "anal retentiveness" on the part of the Government about their wording.
In the view of these Benches, music is naturally put alongside broadcasting and film in subsection (g). It is one of the principal activities of the arts community in London. Forty per cent of all musicians in the British Isles reside in London. London is the music capital of the world for disks, tapes and videos. It is an extraordinarily vibrant, diverse industry. We simply ask, therefore, as regards Amendment No. 435ZA, that music should be admitted to subsection (g).
Amendment No. 453A would specifically empower the cultural strategy group to have education as one of its principal areas of concern in policy development. I am sure that we all agree that the vibrant state of London arts is dependent in the long term upon educating the public to appreciate the full range of those artistic endeavours. Some parts of the London arts scene are not too healthy at present and could do with imaginative, public artistic education. On those grounds, we hope that the Government will smile sympathetically on both the amendments.
Baroness Anelay of St Johns : I should like to speak in support of Amendment No. 453, to which I put my name. I am grateful to my noble friend Lord Teviot for speaking to it so expertly. It was grouped with other amendments, so it was the proper place to speak to it. I know that he was trying to save the time of the House in obliging them with this grouping. I appreciate, therefore, that the Minister has had to get his mind round rather a large number of subjects on the little list that we want to make a little less little.
I do not think I can add to the arguments so forcefully and expertly put forward by my noble friend. I should simply like to add my own personal feeling about archives and their importance from the point of view of somebody who at one time taught history and perhaps did not quite appreciate the value of local archives as effectively as I should, though I had access to national ones at the time.
I should like to thank my own county archivist, David Robinson, for having my mind opened. He gave up a couple of hours of his time to show me both behind and in front of the scenes in my own local archive centre. In the public mind, archives are a dusty collection of old papers. Old they may be; sometimes they are papers, but dusty they are not because of the great care taken to preserve them. I believe that the use of such archives can unlock for the readers of tomorrow the history of today and yesterday. They are certainly vital to our culture. My noble friend pointed out that at the moment there is a great disparity in the provision of services throughout London. I believe that his amendment--should we return to it at a later stage, if not today--is indeed vital for the face of the Bill.
Lord Whitty: I shall not repeat the arguments about exemplary and exhaustive lists. In relation to the noble Lord's amendment concerning music, clearly any definition of the arts which is listed cannot possibly exclude music. That probably also applies to a number of the other amendments. Amendment No. 452JA, which deals with education promotion in so far as it leads to the promotion of artistic creativity, and Amendment No. 453A, which deals with educating the public in the matters listed in the cultural strategy, raise slightly different issues. They stray in part into areas which are the responsibility of other public authorities.
Nevertheless, it is clear that the cultural strategy must and can include both the sort of outreach activities referred to by my noble friend Lord Ponsonby and the rather broader term of public education in the arts referred to here. It is clear that those are already covered by the mayor's ability to draw up the strategy and to make it deliverable.
The position in relation to archives is slightly different. They are arguably part of museums, which are referred to, but they raise rather different issues. I agree in part with the noble Lord, Lord Teviot. The Government are actively engaged in raising the profile of archives through the forthcoming establishment of the museums, libraries and archives council. It is clear that that means archives of all forms--film and electronic as well as paper archives. In London there are many valuable archive collections of all sorts. The GLA and the functional bodies are also responsible for preserving their own archives. Many other public bodies also have that responsibility.
As the noble Lord, Lord Teviot, himself pointed out, the support for archives is referred to in Clause 302 with an explicit reference to the powers of the authorities to give grants in relation to archives. I recognise the strength of noble Lords' views on archives. I believe that it is slightly different from the attempt to draw up a totally exhaustive list which mentions each of the arts in some detail. If the Committee will permit, I shall look again at the question of whether we have said enough about archives on the face of the Bill, taking into account what the noble Lord said in speaking to his amendment. I should argue again that the other amendments should not be pressed. We are again in an area where an exhaustive list could constrain, rather than enhance, the creativity of the cultural strategy.
Lord Phillips of Sudbury: I thank the Minister for his comments. He made the point that there was no necessity to refer to film, because it was covered by the word "arts". Yet paragraph (g) refers to film. It refers to broadcasting and film. My proposal was to add "music"
Lord Whitty: I did not say that I saw no relevance. I did not specifically refer to film. I referred to music, which is clearly subsumed within the term "arts". The reference to film production is of course slightly different--
Lord Whitty: We shall no doubt both check Hansard tomorrow on that point. I believe that we are all agreed that music, and indeed, film, are subsumed under "arts". Some of the other aspects have been referred to because there is an industry in terms of film production, which is slightly separate from music. I suppose that we could argue frequently on the head of a pin as to where one definition ends and another begins. Nevertheless, it is quite clear that it is possible for the mayor to engage with all the issues raised in this debate and it is almost inevitable that the cultural group would engage in drawing up the strategy.
As I have said, archives are in a slightly different category, but there is no inhibition against the strategy covering a major substrategy relating to archives. I shall take away that particular matter. However, whether or not Hansard makes it absolutely clear, I hope that noble Lords will accept that the list includes all their anxieties.
Lord Phillips of Sudbury: I am terribly sorry to tax the Committee's patience, but I should like to ask one more question. The Minister said that film production was one thing, but music production another. I do not see the distinction. That is to say, music production is a distinct and hugely important part of London arts. Why should film production be specifically mentioned and not music production?
Lord Whitty: Film production is a whole and total industry. Music is a much wider entity than the industry. Music can be individual music, produced music, electronic music. Film production is a rather specific and economically quite significant industry. Music subsumes the music industry in the sense to which the noble Lord refers, but it is also a much wider artistic endeavour. Nevertheless, it is subsumed under the general title, "arts". That will have to do for now.
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