§ 59 and 60. Sir H. BRITTAIN
asked the President of the Board of Trade (1) if he can inform the House as to whether the appropriation for advertising the British Industries Fair has been productive of results both from the point of view of selling space in the fair and of securing buyers to attend the fair;
(2) whether he has had a favourable response to his invitation to buyers from our Dominions and foreign countries to visit the British Industries Fair next year, and whether he anticipates an attendance in excess of last year?
§ Mr. A. M. SAMUEL (Secretary, Overseas Trade Department)
In the London section of the British Industries Fair all the available space has been taken up. In the Birmingham section only a few odd sites are still vacant. At each centre some 30,000 square feet have been let above what were required last year. This is due largely to the increased number of trade buyers who visited the Last fair as a result of the advertising campaign. It is too early to forecast the probable attendance of buyers, because replies to our invitations are only now beginning to arrive from firms abroad. More than half of these replies are to the effect that the senders hope to attend in person or through agents in this country.
§ Mr. H. WILLIAMS
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the sum provided by the State for advertising this exhibition would be sufficient, if expended on a privately organised exhibition, to pay for the whole cost of the exhibition?
§ Mr. SAMUEL
No; I do not hold that view, if advertising is included for the private exhibition. I think the money which we have been allowed to spend out of the public purse has been very economically spent. We have bad very good value for the money, and I have 2563 reason to hope that we shall get it back over and over again as a result of the exhibition.
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
If I give the hon. Gentleman particulars of an exhibition of comparable size run at half the cost, will he look into the cost of administration of his Department?
§ Mr. SAMUEL
It does not follow that because my hon. Friend's exhibition costs half as much as ours, the result will be as successful as ours will be.
Sir F. HALL
Will the hon. Gentleman consider next year the claims of the Crystal Palace, which belongs to the nation?