Cabinet Secretaries' notebooks (CAB 195/20): Leonardo's Cartoon: R. Academy
R.A. have invited Govt. to buy at a large figure. With Ty. consent
P.M. declined. They were not surprised. They decided to go
on with sale, by auction. Press have now wormed this out of
Possible courses. i) nothing ii) offer subsidy to R.A. - but they say
they don't want it. iii) offer Govt. contn to a national fund to
buy the picture at auction.
Let public opinion develop before deciding on iii) - the most likely
P.Q.'s for 22/3. This gives us time.
Sir C. Wheeler thinks it will be bought in this country.
Agree we shdn't encourage public appeal. But can't we give time
for this to happen spontaneously.
Taken from C.C. 16(62) - Meeting held on 26 February 1962