HC Deb 16 April 1923 vol 162 cc1674-5
63 and 64. Mr. GILBERT

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Oversea Trade Department (1) whether his Department maintain any sample, showrooms other than those in the City of London; if so, in what towns they are provided and what is the staff employed at each; and what is the approximate annual charge for maintaining the same;

(2) what is the area of the permanent sample rooms maintained by his Department in the City of London; what is the number of staff engaged in the same; and what is the estimated yearly cost of these sample rooms; whether he has any Reports as to the value of these showrooms to British trade; and if it is intended by his Department to permanently continue the same?

Lieut.-Colonel BUCKLEY

In view of the length of the answers I will with the hon. Member's permission circulate the answer to these questions in the OFFICIAL REPORT.


Are these showrooms actually self-supporting, or is there any chance at all of revenue from them?

Lieut.-Colonel BUCKLEY

Not the travelling showrooms.

Following if the answer promised:

No sample showrooms other than those in the City of London are maintained by my Department. The area of the sample rooms at 7–9, Old Bailey is 6,720 square feet. It is intended in the interests of economy to dispense with these premises as soon as the necesarry arrangements can be made. The samples will then be displayed in such space as can be made available in the headquarters office of the Department of Overseas Trade. The staff engaged in the Foreign Samples Section consists of three permanent and four temporary officers, whose total remuneration, inclusive of bonus, amounts to £1,577. As regards the annual cost of the premises; I would refer the hon. Member to the First, Commissioner for Works. The Foreign Samples Section also organises at industrial and commercial centres in the provinces displays of samples of special interest to the district concerned. These displays are organised in collaboration with local chambers of commerce, trade associations, etc., who make arrangements for the necessary accommodation and who have frequently expressed their sense of the value of the exhibits. In these circumstances, I propose to continue their organisation.