HC Deb 16 December 1929 vol 233 cc954-5
33. Major GLYN

asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department what arrangements were made to ensure that British productions should have adequate representation at the international exhibition at Barcelona; how has the present collection of exhibits been made; and have any official representations been made to his Department regarding the inadequate character of the British exhibit compared to that of other countries?

Mr. GILLETT (Secretary, Overseas Trade Department)

As regards the first and second parts of the question, the organisation of an exhibit of British productions at the international exhibition at Barcelona was undertaken by a company specially formed for the purpose, known as "The Barcelona Exhibition (British Section), Ltd." which collected exhibits from British manufacturers. As regards the last part no official representations have been made to my Department. I understand, however, that as in the case of most exhibitions there have been comments both of a satisfactory nature and otherwise regarding the exhibits.

Major GLYN

Does there not exist an exhibition Department, and why is it that when there is an international exhibition that Department cannot see that British exhibits are properly displayed?


There is an exhibits section of my Department, but I understand that it was decided that the Department should not be officially represented at this exhibition. It was left to this company to represent British trade so far as the exhibition was concerned.

Major GLYN

Is the hon. Member aware that many orders which would have come to this country have gone elsewhere, owing to the entire futility of the way in which we were represented?


I think it would be an advantage, and I have decided to appoint a Committee, consisting of some of the members of my Department and those representing business interests, to give advice to the Department as to the desirability of the Government taking part in any foreign exhibition, and of advising on the general question.


May I ask whether the decision not to be represented was come to prior to the General Election, or since?



Lieut.-Colonel JAMES

Does not the hon. Gentleman recognise his personal responsibilities, rather than pass them on to a Committee?


I think I made it quite clear that it was only in an advisory capacity. It is obvious that the final decision must remain with the Government of the day.