HC Deb 02 July 1923 vol 166 cc26-7

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether he is aware that the judging committee of the Rio International Exhibition has awarded 771 prizes to French exhibitors, 300 to Italian exhibitors, 252 to Belgian exhibitors, 246 to United States exhibitors, and 114 to British exhibitors; whether he can say if Great Britain has ever before stood, relatively with other nations, so low in prize awards at great international exhibitions; whether he can say why Great Britain has done so poorly at the Rio Exhibition; and whether he can see his way to issue some official comment, both for the benefit of traders in this country and British traders in South America?

Lieut.-Colonel BUCKLEY (Secretary, Overseas Trade Department)

The number of awards to British exhibitors at the Rio International Exhibition is 143, otherwise the figures are correct. The numbers reflect numerical strength, not importance of exhibits. Excluding 24 non- competitive awards to suppliers of building and decorative material, no less than 72 per cent. of British exhibitors obtained highest awards possible. In the absence of precise information as to the character of the awards to other nations, no fair comparison is possible, but although the number of British exhibitors was comparatively small, the high standard of their exhibits was clearly maintained and I do not, intend to issue any official Comment until the Report on the British section is published.