HC Deb 03 May 1956 vol 552 cc575-6
16. Mr. Langford-Holt

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that certain British exporters and British Railways advertise in foreign countries in English; and, in view of the loss of trade which results from this practice, if he will provide facilities for the translation of such advertisements into the language of the countries for which they are destined.

The President of the Board of Trade (Mr. Peter Thorneycroft)

I agree that it is usually best to advertise overseas in the customer's own language, and my Department advises exporters in this sense. I am informed that British Railways do this except in Switzerland, where special considerations apply. This, like other aspects of sales promotion, is a matter for the exporter's own commercial judgment. I have no evidence that translation facilities available to British exporters are inadequate.

Mr. Langford-Holt

Whilst accepting what my right hon. Friend has said, may I ask whether he is not aware that there is evidence that considerable numbers of export orders are being lost for this reason, and could he devise some method whereby assistance, not necessarily in the form suggested in the Question, can be provided to overcome the difficulty?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I have drawn the attention of exporters to this matter, and very wide translation facilities are available inside and outside the country to exporters.

Mr. Gresham Cooke

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in certain parts of other countries it is considered rather chic if simple advertisements are printed in English, and that such advertisements have a special sales appeal?

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