HC Deb 19 February 1957 vol 565 cc199-200
34. Mr. Awbery

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that the Japanese Machinery Floating Fair, consisting of a large vessel of 10,000 tons refitted for this purpose, is travelling around the South-East Asian countries exhibiting Japanese machinery and machine tools of all descriptions; and if he has considered adopting similar methods to exhibit British manufactured goods in that and other areas.

Mr. Walker-Smith

When similar proposals have been examined in the past, it has been found that British industry did not consider a floating exhibition the most effective way of displaying its products and was unlikely to give adequate support. Our commercial officers in South-East Asia are, however, reporting on the results achieved by the Japanese venture and I shall seek the views of my Exhibitions Advisory Committee on their reports.

Mr. Awbery

Is the Minister aware that the Japanese attribute very great importance to this market in South-East Asia? They have already doubled their 1939 production. They have produced the largest super-tanker in the world, whereas we are doing nothing. We are only spending money on a war in the jungle instead of doing something to improve our trade.

Mr. Walker-Smith

There are difficulties and disadvantages connected with this form of exhibition; but I assure the hon. Member that as soon as I get the reports I will take the expert view of the Exhibitions Advisory Committee.