HC Deb 25 April 1940 vol 360 c370
68. Mr. Vernon Bartlett

asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department why there was no British exhibitor at the Zagrebski Zbor, the most important fair in Jugoslavia, in view of the fact that of the180 exhibitors 120 were German?

Mr. Shakespeare (Secretary, Overseas Trade Department)

My Department took steps to bring the Zagreb Fair to the attention of the United Kingdom trading community by an announcement in the "Board of Trade Journal." The hon. Member will appreciate that it must necessarily be left to the discretion of individual firms to decide, in the light of business considerations, whether they should participate in this and many other similar trade fairs held in different parts of the world. I am keeping in touch with the United Kingdom Commercial Corporation regarding possible participation in future fairs in the Balkans.

Mr. Bartlett

May I ask whether the Government after seven months of war have no further way of carrying on economic warfare than putting advertisements in a paper?

Mr. Shakespeare

We are naturally anxious that the commercial community should take advantage of these fairs to show British goods, but we cannot compel them to do so.

Sir P. Harris

As the hon. Gentleman is new to his Department, will he put some drive into it and take some initiative? Will he also realise that this is an important factor in winning the war?

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