89. Mr. FRED HALL
asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will consider the advisability of establishing commercial museums in suitable trading centres for the exhibition of specimens of the goods which are in demand at different places abroad where this country has commercial representatives, and for affording information to British traders which would assist them in gaining a knowledge of the conditions obtaining in foreign markets?
The practice of the Board of Trade in this matter is to exhibit at the Commercial Intelligence Branch of the Board in the City, and also from time to time at suitable trade centres in the United Kingdom, samples sent home by His Majesty s Consuls and Trade Commissioners in foreign countries 1272 and His Majesty's Dominions of foreign articles which appear to be displacing British manufactured goods in those markets. For example, at present a series of exhibitions of samples of foreign hardware which is competing with British goods in the markets of the self-governing Dominions are being held in London, Birmingham, Sheffield, and other important centres. These temporary exhibitions, which have met with great success, are I think a more effective method of furnishing information to manufacturers or traders desirous of finding markets abroad for their wares than the establishment of permanent museums, which it is practically impossible to keep up to date in regard either to samples of goods in current use or to current prices and conditions. I may add that manufacturers and traders requiring information as to conditions obtaining in particular foreign or Colonial markets in regard to their particular goods should apply to the Commercial Intelligence Branch of the Board of Trade in Basinghall Street, which branch has been established for the special purpose of supplying such information.