HC Deb 25 April 1950 vol 474 cc773-5
45. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Lord President of the Council where H.M.S. "Campania," carrying the seaborne exhibition organised by the Festival of Britain Council, will begin and end her voyage; by what route she will travel; what will be the total cost of the whole voyage and the visits which this exhibition will pay to towns and cities; how much of that total cost will be incurred by visiting Greenock; and how much by travelling to and visiting Dundee.

The Lord President of the Council (Mr. Herbert Morrison)

The Festival ship "Campania" will begin her tour at Southampton. She will then go direct to Dundee and will visit a number of ports in England and Wales, ending at Greenock at the end of the Festival season. The total cost of the whole voyage, including conversion and fitting-out and re-conversion, will not exceed £500,000. It is not practicable to estimate what proportion of this total will be expended on visits to Greenock and Dundee.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Why should this ship double backwards and forwards in this way when, in a shorter time and with less expense, it could go from Greenock to Dundee via the Pentland Firth?

Mr. Morrison

My hon. and learned Friend is engaging in subjective reasoning. He has a motive that he wants to get Aberdeen included. I have no doubt that those in charge of the ship would know much more about navigation than I do or, probably, than my hon. and learned Friend does, and have very good reasons for what they are doing.

Captain Ryder

Will this ship fly the White Ensign, and what is the nature of the exhibition? Is it to be an exhibition of navigational science, or a frolic?

Mr. Morrison

It is an exhibition within the limits of the capacity of the ship, aimed at reproducing the outstanding features of the Festival exhibition. As to what flag it will bear, I really do not know.

Sir Wavell Wakefield

Can the right hon. Gentleman state what are to be the charges for people visiting the exhibition aboard this ship?

Mr. Morrison

If the hon. Member wants that answer, he had better put down the Question.

46. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Lord President of the Council if he will take steps to arrange that during the voyage along the coasts of Scotland of H.M.S. "Campania," carrying the seaborne exhibition organised by the Festival of Britain Council, she will call at convenient ports to enable the people in, and visitors to, Oban, Stornoway, Inverness, Elgin, Nairn, Fraserburgh, Peterhead and Aberdeen and surrounding districts to see the exhibition.

Mr. H. Morrison

No, Sir. I regret that it is not possible to arrange for the ports mentioned by my hon. and learned Friend to be visited by the "Campania" as the programme of visits already arranged for the seaborne exhibition of the Festival of Britain covers the whole of the Festival season.

Mr. Hector Hughes

As people in English ports, particularly in the south of England, will have easier access to the London part of the Exhibition, can the Lord President say why this ship is going round by the south coast of England, instead of by the north of Scotland, from Greenock to Dundee, so as to enable people in the north of Scotland to see it?

Mr. Morrison

I admire my hon. and learned Friend's pursuit of his constituency interests, but there will be a number of features of the Festival in Scotland besides the journey of the "Campania."

Lady Tweedsmuir

Does the Lord President realise that, as regards the exhibition for the Festival of Britain, Aberdeen does not feel that it is getting its fair share?