HC Deb 11 June 1958 vol 589 cc205-7
42. Mr. Teeling

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what recent evidence he has received of public demand that the British Pavilion at the Brussels Exhibition should remain open till 10 p.m.; and what action he is taking in the matter.

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

I am informed by the United Kingdom Commissioner-General that he has received no new evidence of an increase in public demand which might justify a change in the arrangements described in my hon. Friend's reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Solihull (Mr. M. Lindsay) on 2nd May.

Mr. Teeling

Does my right hon. Friend realise that many other people besides myself who have visited the Exhibition in the last few weeks have found that the British Pavilion is one of the best of the lot? Does he also realise that, with the exception of the Sovereign Order of Malta,. it is the only one which is closing at 6 p.m.? The others carry on until 9 or 10 p.m. Does my right hon. Friend realise that many business people go there in the evenings, and find that they cannot get into the British trade pavilion? It is not in the centre of the exhibition. Those who arrive, as I arrived, at half-past five, find that they are terribly rushed in going round the pavilion.

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

My information is that quite a number of the other pavilions close at the same time as the British one. My hon. Friend will be aware that from the beginning of June until the end of August the British Pavilion will not be shut until 7 p.m., instead of 6 p.m. I would also say that all our information is that the vast number of visitors who go to the Brussels Exhibition in the evenings make for the amusement park.

Mr. H. Morrison

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether there is any appreciable demand on the part of the public to see the pavilion in the evening? One would have thought there would be. If there is an appreciable demand, surely it is quite ridiculous to close the pavilion at such an early hour.

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

That is precisely the position. Of course the situation is examined the whole time. The people who are managing our pavilion take into account the question whether it would be worth their while to keep the pavilion open, but all the evidence we have had so far shows that it would not be worth while to keep it open after 7 or 8 p.m.

Mr. Robens

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that we must provide the facilities before we can estimate the demand?

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

We shall certainly look into this matter again.

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