HC Deb 08 December 1931 vol 260 cc1669-70
28. Lieut.-Commander AGNEW

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether he is satisfied that the publicity secured by the Empire Marketing Board in their Buy British campaign is proportionate to the cost involved?


Yes, Sir. The total cost to the Empire Marketing Board is expected to be about £12,000. My expert advisers report that the amount of publicity secured by this expenditure is so large and diversified as to render useless the professional standards by which they are accustomed to measure commercial advertising campaigns costing 10 or 20 times as much. I take this opportunity of thanking in the name of the Empire Marketing Board all those who have assisted this campaign, from the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides to the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. Their generous and active support of the movement inaugurated by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales has produced what is believed to be the greatest peace-time campaign upon a single theme ever conducted in this country.


Is it a fact that, in spite of all these efforts, sales have actually gone down?


No, and I am sure that no one will be more delighted than my hon. Friend to know that the reverse 1S the case.


Is it not the fact that the Buy British campaign is a serious factor in the increasingly adverse position of the sterling exchange?


I cannot answer that question, but, if the implication of my hon. Friend is against the Buy British campaign, then I will join issue with him.

29. Lieut.-Commander AGNEW

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs what have been the results of the Buy British campaign?


Reports received by the Empire Marketing Board indicate that this campaign has literally pervaded the whole Kingdom. The Board are amply satisfied that the campaign, notably reinforced, as it has been, by the distributive trades, has effectively brought home to the country the patriotic duty of buying, so far as possible, the products of the home country in the first place, and, in the second, the products of the Empire overseas. The results of that achievement, which promise to continue long after the campaign is ended, can never be statistically measured. But ample inquiries made by the Empire Marketing Board in a wide variety of markets confirm what must, I believe, be the per sonal experience of Members of this House, that the public's will to purchase has by this campaign been directed to a dramatic extent towards home and over-sea sources of supply.


Has the right hon. Gentleman's attention been drawn to the fact that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) sailed to America in a German ship?

30. Lieut.-Commander AGNEW

asked the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs whether he will take steps to make known in the Dominions and Colonies the publicity in favour of their products secured by the present Buy British campaign?


The Empire Marketing Board, with the assistance of the over-sea Governments concerned, have long devoted careful attention to securing that their work on behalf of Empire products should be understood by those in whose interests it was primarily undertaken. Active steps are being taken and will be continued to keep the oversea Press in touch with the progress of the Buy British campaign.


Will the right hon. Gentleman take steps to see that British instead of American typewriters are used in Government offices?