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Holiday Visit Passages

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the approximate cost of holiday visit passages paid in respect of (a) children of his Department's personnel being educated in the United Kingdom and in receipt of education allowances and (b) members of the Diplomatic Service communications division being educated in the United Kingdom and in receipt of education allowances, and of any further travelling expenses paid for the latest available year.

Mr. Sainsbury [holding answer 19 January 1990] : The total cost, with travelling expenses, of holiday passages for the children of staff serving overseas on Diplomatic Service terms, including those of the communications division (for whom separate statistics are not kept) was £1.05 million in 1988-89.


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THE ARTS

Curatorial Staff

30. Mr. Gregory : To ask the Minister for the Arts what percentage of public musuem and gallery curatorial staff have received recognised curatorial training ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Luce : The information requested is unavailable at present. I understand that the newly established museums training institute is currently researching the training needs of museums and galleries staff as part of its overall review of training requirements.

Arts Council

32. Mr. Adley : To ask the Minister for the Arts when he last met the chairman of the Arts Council ; and what was discussed.

Mr. Luce : I meet Mr. Palumbo regularly to discuss various matters of mutual interest.

Admission Charges

31. Mr. Win Griffiths : To ask the Minister for the Arts whether he has met the chairman of the Museums and Galleries Commission to discuss the Education, Science and Arts Select Committee's report on charging for admission to national museums.

Mr. Luce : I meet the chairman of the Museums and Galleries Commission on a regular basis to discuss matters of mutual interest. I have not met him since the Select Committee's report was issued on 10 January 1990.

33. Mr. Flannery : To ask the Minister for the Arts when he intends to reply to the report of the Education, Science and Arts Select Committee on charging for national museums ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Minister for the Arts when he plans to respond to the Education, Science and Arts Committee's report on charging for admission to national museums.

Mr. Luce : I am studying the report and will issue a response in the near future.

36. Mr. Dennis Turner : To ask the Minister for the Arts what is his policy on admission charges to national museums.

39. Mr. Maclennan : To ask the Minister for the Arts if he will make a statement on the policy of Her Majesty's Government towards charges for admission to national galleries and museums.

40. Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Minister for the Arts what is his policy on charging for admission to national museums.

Mr. Luce : I refer the hon. Members to the answer that I gave earlier to the hon. Member for Wrexham, (Dr. Marek).

Disabled People (Access)

34. Mr. Stern : To ask the Minister for the Arts, what steps he is taking to increase access to the arts by disabled people.


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Mr. Luce : I announced in December 1988 that I was giving £150, 000 to the ADAPT fund which the Carnegie Trust is setting up to improve the accessibility of arts venues for disabled people. I am pleased to say that the work of the trust is now well under way. In addition to this initiative, the Arts Council has a disability officer to ensure that the needs of disabled people are taken fully into account in the work of the council and its clients.

Wilding Report

35. Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Minister for the Arts when he intends to publish his response to the Wilding report on funding of the arts.

45. Ms. Short : To ask the Minister for the Arts when he intends to announce his reponse to the Wilding review of arts funding.

Mr. Luce : I expect to make an announcement as soon as possible after I have had an opportunity to consider the responses to the report.

41. Mr. Wareing : To ask the Minister for the Arts how many responses he received to the proposals in the Wilding report on altering the boundaries of regional arts associations.

Mr. Luce : I have received nearly 5,500 responses which include comment on this issue.

42. Mr. Allen : To ask the Minister for the Arts what representations he has had from the east midlands on the Wilding report on arts funding.

Mr. Luce : I have received a number of representations from individuals and organisations in the east midlands area about the Wilding report.

43. Mr. Janner : To ask the Minister for the Arts what representations he has received concerning the amalgamation of the east and west midlands arts organisations.

Mr. Luce : I have received a number of representations from individuals and organisations on this matter. I have met the chairmen and directors of the two organisations to hear their concerns.

44. Mr. Key : To ask the Minister for the Arts, what representations he has received on proposed reorganisation of regional arts associations ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Luce : I have received almost 6,000 responses to the Wilding report of which approximately 4,500 are postcards. I shall be announcing my response to the report as soon as possible.

Tours

37. Mr. David Martin : To ask the Minister for the Arts what steps he is taking to encourage arts bodies to tour both at home and abroad.

Mr. Luce : The Arts Council is responsible for actively encouraging touring within the United Kingdom. The council has established a Great Britain touring fund to encourage arts bodies to tour throughout the country. The


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fund's budget has gone up from £1.5 million last year to£2 million for this year and for 1990-91. Support for overseas touring is the responsibility of the British Council.

Uniform Business Rate

38. Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Minister for the Arts if he will make special provision for the arts in London to take account of the revaluation of business premises and the impact of uniform business rate.

Mr. Luce : The aim of my three-year settlement is to give arts bodies a clear view of the Government resources available, so that they have a firm basis on which to plan their activities and meet their final commitments. I see no reason to make special additional provisions to take account of the revaluation of business premises and the unified business rate.

Arts Funding

46. Mr. Burns : To ask the Minister for the Arts what increase in the funding of the Arts Council is proposed for the next two financial years.

Mr. Luce : I announced in November that next year the Arts Council's grant-in-aid will be set at £175 million, an increase of 12.5 per cent. over 1989-90. In 1991-92 that will rise by a further 4.6 per cent. to £183 million. Over the next three years, the overall increase will be 22 per cent.

Museums and Galleries (Refurbishment)

47. Mr. Robert G. Hughes : To ask the Minister for the Arts what increase there has been in provision for the refurbishment and maintenance of museums and galleries for the year ahead.

Mr. Luce : I am providing £48 million in the current financial year for the building and maintenance programmes at the national museums and galleries which I sponsor. I announced on 16 November last year that this provision will increase by 19 per cent. to £57 million, in 1990- 91.

Items in Lieu of Tax

Mr. Faulds : To ask the Minister for the Arts whether he will list the allocations made to public institutions in the United Kingdom during the half year ended 31 December 1989 of individual works of art and museum objects pre-eminent for national, scientific, historic or artistic interest which have been accepted in satisfaction of inheritance tax or capital transfer tax, together with information, where applicable, as to conditions or wishes expressed in the matter of allocation by testators or executors ; whether he will list the works of art and museum objects which are still awaiting allocation, with the respective dates of their acceptance in satisfaction of inheritance tax or capital transfer tax ; and whether a press notice will be issued from the Office of Arts and Libraries covering the information given in his reply.

Mr. Luce : The information the hon. Member requests is as follows :


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                                         |£ million          

-------------------------------------------------------------

Agricultural and Food Research Council   |9.1                

Medical Research Council                 |44.5               

Natural Environment Research Council     |4.6                

Science and Engineering Research Council |123.0              

Economic and Social Research Council     |4.3                

                                         |----               

                                         |185.5              

A press notice is being issued.

Works of Art (Exports)

Mr. Faulds : To ask the Minister for the Arts whether he will list the items for which the issuing of export licences was withheld on the recommendation of the reviewing committee on the export of works of art during the half year ended 31 December 1989, specifying in each case the valuation and whether an item was eventually exported or retained, with particulars in the latter event of the acquiring institution ; whether he will list any items for which licences have been withheld but the final disposal of which is not yet decided, specifying in each case (a) the


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valuation and (b) the relevant time limit ; and whether a press notice will be issued from the Office of Arts and Libraries covering the information given in his reply.

Mr. Luce : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry accepted my recommendation, following consideration by the reviewing committee on the export of works of art, to defer making for a specified period a decision on an export licence application in respect of the items listed. Details of the items listed were given in press notices issued at the time the Secretary of State decided to accept the recommendation ; however, a further press notice will be issued.


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Description of item                  |Valuation (£)                                                            

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A painting "The Fall of Phaeton" by  |2,046,939                                                                

  Rubens                                                                                                       

Album of early photographs collected |234,150                                                                  

  by Reve Calvert Jones 1839-44                                                                                

Two decorated colt percussion        |475,000                                                                  

  revolvers                          |10 March 1990                                                            

"The Three Graces" by Canova         |7,600,000                                                                

                                     |  months until 12 March 1990                                             

George II Royal Wine Coolers,        |750,000                                                                  

  Makers mark of Paul de Lamerie     |National Museums of Scotland and                                         

  overstruck by Paul Crespin         |the Victoria and Albert Museum                                           

Museums and Galleries (Attendance)

Mr. Faulds : To ask the Minister for the Arts whether he will publish in the Official Report the attendance figures for 1989 reported by the national museums and galleries in England for which he is responsible, broken down into the individual institutions but including their outstations, with figures in each case of the percentage increase or decrease on the attendance figures for 1988.

Mr. Luce : The estimated number of visitors during 1989 to the 11 national museums and galleries for which I am responsible are as follows :


                                  |Estimated    |Percentage                 

                                  |attendance in|change from                

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

British Museum                    |4,686,454    |+12.3                      

British Museum (Natural History)  |1,549,676    |- 7.3                      

Imperial War Museum               |1,204,310    |+10.8                      

National Gallery                  |3,368,217    |+ 4.3                      

National Maritime Museum          |423,858      |-40.1                      

National Museums and Galleries on                                           

  Merseyside                      |1,348,570    |-11.6                      

National Portrait Gallery         |625,197      |- 2.1                      

Science Museum                    |2,607,724    |-32.5                      

Tate Gallery                      |1,940,004    |- 7.2                      

Victoria and Albert Museum        |1,378,546    |- 3.6                      

Wallace Collection                |129,010      |-18.1                      

                                  |---------                                

Total                             |19,261,566                               

CIVIL SERVICE

Civil Servants (Resignations)

52. Mr. Tony Banks : To ask the Minister for the Civil Service how many civil servants of grade 7 and above have left the Civil Service in the last three years to take jobs in industry.

Mr. Luce : This information is not available in the form requested.

Crown Allegiance

53. Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Minister for the Civil Service what response he has made to the representations of the First Division Association protesting about the new guidelines on allegiance to the Crown and Her Majesty's Government.

Mr. Luce : I have nothing to add to the reply I gave earlier to the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire (Mr. Kirkwood).

Civil Service Unions

54. Mr. Allen : To ask the Minister for the Civil Service what discussions he has had with Civil Service trade union leaders in Nottingham.


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55. Mr. Skinner : To ask the Minister for the Civil Service what recent meetings he has had with Civil Service trade unions ; and what matters were discussed.

57. Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Minister for the Civil Service when he last met the Civil Service unions ; and what subjects were discussed.

Mr. Luce : I refer the hon. Members to the reply that I gave earlier to the hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, Central (Mr. Fisher).

Code of Conduct

56. Mr. Fearn : To ask the Minister for the Civil Service if he has any plans to change the present Civil Service code of practice ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Luce : I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave earlier to the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire (Mr. Kirkwood).

NATIONAL FINANCE

Privatised Businesses

Mr. Knapman : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many of the major businesses privatised since 1979 were in profit in 1979.

Mr. Lilley : Of the 29 major businesses privatised since 1979, the following were in profit in 1979 : British Petroleum, British Aerospace, Cable and Wireless, National Freight Consortium, Britoil, Amersham International, Associated British Ports, Sealink, British Telecom, British Gas, British Airways, Royal Ordnance, Rolls-Royce, BAA, Northumbrian Water, South West Water.

Public Sector Pensions

Mr. Andrew Bowden : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list those instances in which a retrospective amendment has been made to public sector pension schemes.

Mr. Ryder : A distinction has to be drawn between, first, amendments where the effect is backdated to cover the elapses of time between agreement on, or the announcement of, a change and the making of regulations to give effect to it and, secondly, amendments which have effect prior to an agreement on, or announcement of, a change. There have been many amendments of the first kind. They are acceptable because they ensure that scheme members are not deprived of agreed improvements in benefits for the time that it may take to finalise the necessary amendment of the scheme's rules. It would entail disproportionate cost to provide a complete list of such amendments.

It has rarely been possible to amend schemes to provide for retrospection of the second kind because of the costs that may be involved and considerations of equity and administration. It has, therefore, been the policy of successive Governments not to allow such retrospection, save in the most exceptional circumstances. In the past 20 years, the only major instances of which I am aware have been the amendments made in the 1970s to bring the public services generally into line with the Civil Service by


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allowing war service to count at half rate for pension purposes ; and, in 1979, for the armed forces pension scheme to provide pensions for pre-1950 widows.

Commercial Accounting and Auditing

Mr. Ralph Howell : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Norfolk, North on 9 January, Official Report, column 576, which specific sectors of the public sector in which normal accountancy and auditing methods (a) are already employed, (b) are being developed and (c) are considered to be inappropriate. Mr. Ryder : The position in different parts of the public sector is as follows :

(a) Government Departments

Some Departments already produce commercial-style accounts. These include the existing trading funds (The Royal Mint, Her Majesty's Stationery Office and The Crown Suppliers) and some other Departments with major trading functions, for example, Ordnance Survey, ECGD and the Forestry Commission.

The Government's White Paper "The Financing and Accountability of Next Steps Agencies" sets out plans for the future. The arrangements proposed for agencies which become trading funds are described in paragraphs 5.9 to 5.13. The arrangements proposed for those which remain under full Vote accounting are described in paragraphs 5.14 to 5.17. Normally only cash- based appropriation accounts will be published for Departments or parts of Departments which do not become next steps agencies.

(b) Non-departmental public bodies (NDPBS)

NDPBs are bodies which have a role in the process of national Government-- but which are not Government Departments. Many NDPBs which are classified as executive bodies already produce commercial-style accounts on an accruals basis. The expenses of NDPBs which are classified as advisory and judicial bodies are generally brought to account in the cash-based appropriation accounts of their sponsoring Department.

(c) National Health Service

In the National Health Service accounting has been developed along more commercial lines over recent years, with the exception of accounting for capital. It is intended to implement capital accounting, including the preparation of balance sheets for the financial year 1991-92. It is planned that the Audit Commission should take over the audit of the NHS under the provisions proposed in the NHS and Community Care Bill, and the Local Government and Housing Bill.

(d) Local Authorities

In February 1989 the local authority associations and CIPFA published "Capital Accounting in Local Authorities", containing proposals to change the way local authorities account for capital receipts and expenditure, and to secure improvements in local authority accounting. These proposals could form the basis of a code of practice for local authority capital accounting which would apply to all authorities from 1991-92. The proposals would move local authority accounting closer to commercial accounting principles. But they reflect legal constraints : for example, those applying to grants and rates, which do not apply to the private sector. (e) Nationalised Industries

Nationalised industries produce accounts on a commercial basis.

Mortgage Interest Tax Relief

Mr. Soley : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many (a) first-time buyers in the first five years of home onwership and (b) other home owners, would be expected to benefit from an increase in the ceiling for mortgage interest tax relief above the current £30,000


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limit ; what percentage of all home buyers in each category this would represent ; and what would be the cost of the increased benefit to each group were the ceiling to be raised to (i) £35,000, (ii) £40, 000 and (iii) £50,000, respectively ;

(2) what would be the cost of adjusting the maximum ceiling for mortgage interest tax relief to (a) £35,000, (b) £40,000, (c) £45,000 and (d) £50,000, on the assumption that (i) relief continues to be available at the higher marginal tax rate where applicable, and (ii) that relief is restricted to the standard 25 per cent. rate of income tax.

Mr. Lilley : I regret that information on mortgage interest relief for first-time buyers in the first five years of home ownership is not available. Provisional estimates of the costs of increasing the ceiling are given in the table. All estimates exclude behavioural effects, which would be substantial for the higher ceilings.


Direct revenue costs at 1989-90 income levels of        

raising the ceiling                                     

for mortgage interest relief                            

Ceiling       |Relief at    |Relief at                  

              |marginal tax |basic rate of              

              |rate         |25 per cent.               

              |£ million    |£ million                  

--------------------------------------------------------

£35,000       |320          |-140                       

£40,000       |580          |90                         

£45,000       |770          |270                        

£50,000       |900          |390                        

Mr. Soley : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what would be the additional average relief receivable by those people with incomes of (a) up to £5,000 a year, (b) between £5,000 and £10,000 a year, (c) between £10,000 and £15,000 a year, (d) between £15,000 and £20,000 a year, (e) between £20,000 and £25,000 a year, (f) between £25,000 and £30,000 a year, and (g) over £30,000 a year if the ceiling on mortgage interest tax relief were to be raised to (i) £35,000, (ii) £40,000, (iii) £45,000, and (iv) £50,000 ; and how many beneficiaries there would be in each income band, assuming (x) that relief would continue to be available at the higher marginal tax rate where applicable and (y) that relief was restricted to the standard, 25 per cent. rate of income tax.

Mr. Lilley : The information requested is given in the table. All estimates exclude behavioural effects which would be substantial for the higher ceilings.


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Total Income £                                               Number of                                                   Average gain if ceiling is increased to                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                            |beneficiaries                                              |£35,000                                                    |£40,000                                                    |£45,000                                                    |£50,000                                                                                                                

                                                            |thousands                                                  |£                                                          |£                                                          |£                                                          |£                                                                                                                      

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Up to 5,000                                                 |20                                                         |160                                                        |250                                                        |290                                                        |330                                                                                                                    

5,000-10,000                                                |140                                                        |130                                                        |230                                                        |290                                                        |320                                                                                                                    

10,000-15,000                                               |360                                                        |150                                                        |260                                                        |330                                                        |380                                                                                                                    

15,000-20,000                                               |520                                                        |160                                                        |270                                                        |360                                                        |410                                                                                                                    

20,000-25,000                                               |400                                                        |160                                                        |290                                                        |390                                                        |450                                                                                                                    

25,000-30,000                                               |220                                                        |160                                                        |290                                                        |390                                                        |470                                                                                                                    

Over 30,000                                                 |390                                                        |190                                                        |350                                                        |470                                                        |580                                                                                                                    

                                                            |-----                                                      |-----                                                      |-----                                                      |-----                                                      |-----                                                                                                                  

Total                                                       |2,050                                                      |160                                                        |280                                                        |380                                                        |440                                                                                                                    

If relief was restricted to the basic rate at the same time as the ceiling was increased, the number of beneficiaries with incomes above £30,000 would be reduced. About 190,000 basic rate taxpayers would still benefit, and about 70,000 higher rate taxpayers with mortgages above £48,000 would be net beneficiaries if the ceiling were raised to that level or above.

Capial Loss Relief

Mr. Hanley : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has any plans to change the availability of capital loss relief for transactions in oil rights and oil assets.

Mr. Lilley : For disposals made on or after today, the Government intend two changes to stop unwarranted loss relief being available on certain oil assets. These are assets of an essentially wasting nature, whose value in 1982 was very high because of the high oil price at that date but where no actual loss compared with acquisition cost arises. First, unquoted shares deriving the larger part of their value from United Kingdom and United Kingdom continental shelf oil rights and assets will no longer be eligible for an election that rebasing to 1982 for capital gains tax purposes shall apply to all disposals. Secondly, in certain circumstances where oil assets, rights and


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unquoted shares are disposed of, indexation allowance will be calculated on the acquisition cost rather than the 1982 market value. The necessary legislation will be included in the 1990 Finance Bill. Further details are in a press release being issued by the Inland Revenue.

SCOTLAND

Radioactive Waste Disposal

Ms. Walley : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what are the implications of the findings of the European Commission's PAGIS study into the suitability of Scottish geology for high-level radioactive waste disposal for the search by Nirex to establish a deep disposal facility for intermediate-level and low-level radioactive wastes.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to her on Thursday 18 January at column 363 by my hon. Friend the Minister for the Environment and Countryside.


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Teenage Smoking

Mr. Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if his Department is planning any additional expenditure during the current year for a teenage smoking prevention programme.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : In Scotland the main responsibility for promotion of health education and prevention of ill health lies with the Scottish health education group. It currently expects to spend about £297,000 on anti-smoking material and campaigns during the current financial year--an increase of £17,000 over its original estimate for the year. The Scottish committee for Action on Smoking and Health will receive grant-in-aid of £40,000 in 1989-90. Both organisations undertake anti-smoking initiatives directed at teenagers.

Forestry

Mr. Ron Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will place in the Library a copy of the Scottish Development Department's draft circular on indicative forestry strategies.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : I have placed a copy of the draft circular and related material in the Library. I am most grateful for the many valuable comments received from a wide range of interests on this proposed advice on the preparation of indicative forestry strategies by regional authorities in Scotland. This confirms the value of these strategies as a framework for future decision-making on forestry planting. The final version of the circular and related technical advice, taking into account the comments received, will be issued shortly. A copy will be placed in the Library.

Hospital Building

Mr. Hayward : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what are the five largest hospital building projects in Scotland currently under construction ; and what is the projected cost of each.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : The information is as follows :


                                            |£ million          

----------------------------------------------------------------

Royal Cornhill hospital, phase 1, Aberdeen  |8.5                

Perth Royal Infirmary, Perth                |21.2               

Western Isles hospital, Isle of Lewis       |22.1               

Acute hospital, Ayr                         |23.8               

St. John's hospital, phase 11, West Lothian |30.1               

Mr. Hayward : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what have been the five largest hospital building projects completed in Scotland since 1979 ; and what is the cost of each.

Mr. Michael Forsyth : The information is as follows :


                                              |£ million          

------------------------------------------------------------------

St. John's hospital, phase I, West Lothian    |30.4               

Raigmore district general hospital, Inverness |31.0               

Borders district general hospital, Huntlyburn |32.2               

Glasgow Royal infirmary phase I, Glasgow      |55.3               

Royal Alexandra hospital, Paisley             |56.5               

Museums and Galleries

Mr. Faulds : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will publish in the Official Report the attendance figures for 1989 reported by the national museums and galleries in Scotland, broken down into the individual institutions but including their outstations, with figures in each case of the percentage increase or decrease on the attendance figures for 1988.

Mr. Lang : The information is as follows :


                               |1989         |Percentage                 

                               | change since                            

                               | 1988                                    

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

National Galleries of Scotland |709,582      |+39.0                      

National Museums of Scotland   |899,351      |+30.7                      

Attendance figures for the national museums of Scotland for 1989 are inclusive of visitors to the Scottish United Services museum at Edinburgh castle which were not previously attributed to the museums. In 1988 there were 156,614 visitors to the Scottish United Services museum.

The national galleries of Scotland comprise the National Gallery of Scotland, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. The national museums of Scotland comprise the Royal Museum of Scotland buildings at Chambers street and Queen street, Edinburgh, the Scottish Agricultural museum, the Scottish United Services museum, the Museum of Flight and the Shambellie Museum of Costume.


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