While the 1922 Committee was overseeing the vote for the planned, but failed, putsch against the Prime Minister, the House of Lords was engaged in a much more civilised activity, celebrating the 250th. birthday of the Royal Academy:-
I always find it interesting reading their debates – the curious mixture of nineteenth-century civility with often well informed and not necessarily anticipated comments.
Reading the debate on the Royal Academy, I am pleased to see that two of the current issues facing the Academy on my departure were both raised: one is the ability of the Royal Academy Schools to continue to accept European students post-Brexit; the second is whether or not the Heritage Lottery Fund might consider reintroducing its Catalyst fund to help it to raise funds for its endowment, since it was the availability of matching funds which made it possible for the Ashmolean, for example, to embark on its successful endowment campaign.
I was also glad that three great supporters of the Academy – Lords Cormack, Crathorne and Luce, all three of whom have been frequent visitors – all acknowledged the importance of the government’s support of what is essentially an independent institution by providing government indemnity, without which its exhibition programme would be unsustainable, and the advantage of a long-term lease of Burlington House, which gives it security of tenure and the ability to plan for its long-term future.