HC Deb 05 December 1950 vol 482 cc196-7
46. Mr. Geoffrey Hirst

asked the Lord President of the Council under what circumstances were prospective advertisers informed that the cost of full-page advertising space in the Festival of Britain guide was to be £750 and are now informed that the price should be £1,500.

Mr. H. Morrison

The hon. Member is no doubt referring to the South Bank Exhibition Guide. Owing to the very long period required for producing two million copies of such a publication in present circumstances it was necessary to adopt a time-table of production which called for the letting of the advertisements for this guide somewhat hastily, and it is now clear that an error of judgment was made.

The Festival Office accordingly wrote to advertisers as the hon. Member has indicated in this Question, and I understand that a number of them have indicated their willingness to accept revised terms, but others have not felt able to do so. While I am much obliged to those advertisers who have offered to accept revised terms, I cannot in the circumstances approve the acceptance of their offer, and the Festival Office will accordingly proceed to carry out these contracts at the original rate.

Mr. Hirst

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a considerable number of weeks elapsed between the original offer and the discovery of this regrettable error, and will he give an assurance not only that the original contract rate will be maintained but that no further errors of this nature are likely to be discovered?

Mr. Morrison

I am very sorry about the error. I have intimated that the original contracts will be maintained. The hon. Gentleman can take it from me that the Festival Office know my mind about it, and that everything will be done to avoid a repetition of this.