HC Deb 26 March 1957 vol 567 cc958-9
30. Mr. E. Fletcher

asked the Minister of Works what steps his Department takes to make known the ancient monuments under his care to visitors to this country from overseas.

Mr. Molson

Ancient monuments figure in much of the publicity directed towards tourists. Leaflets and posters about ancient monuments are distributed through the British Travel and Holidays Association and by travel agencies and shipping and air transport companies. Photographs and particulars of many monuments are widely used abroad by the British Travel and Holidays Association and by travel agencies.

Mr. Fletcher

Does that reply mean that the Minister is aware that if these monuments are adequately publicised there is a very good opportunity of increasing the dollar revenue of this country because of the interest which foreign visitors take in these subjects?

Mr. Molson

Undoubtedly our very interesting past is one of the attractions of these islands, and we try to bring it to the attention of people who are considering visiting us. At the same time, I am bound to say that ancient monuments, although a tourist attraction, are not in themselves a great source of income from tourists.

Mr. Anthony Greenwood

Is the Minister aware that although the material contained in these leaflets prepared by the Inspector of Ancient Monuments is admirable, there is, nevertheless, a feeling that the way in which it is presented could be greatly improved. Would he consider discussing with the Central Office of Information and the Stationery Office possible methods of improving the publications which are issued?

Mr. Molson

I know that a large number of our publications arc of a somewhat scholarly flavour, but we do all we can to encourage the British Travel and Holidays Association, which is less scholarly in its outlook, to give a more popular presentation of our monuments.

Mr. Nicholson

Will my right hon. Friend do his best to avoid the dangers of over-restoration? If he is to put everything back to where it was before, he will find himself in an awful mess.

Mr. Molson

I think that was a supplementary question to Question No. 27 and not to the Question which I am answering.