HC Deb 01 June 1960 vol 624 c1446
43. Commander Courtney

asked the Minister of Defence what he estimates will be the cost of the military tournament and tattoo, to be held in Madison Square Gardens, New York, in conjunction with the all-British exhibition in June.

Mr. C. Ian Orr-Ewing

I have been asked to reply.

No estimate has been compiled by the Departments concerned, since the cost of the enterprise will be a prior charge on the proceeds of the tattoo and will not be borne by Service Votes.

Commander Courtney

While recognising that this military tournament is an admirable thing in itself, may I ask my hon. Friend whether he is satisfied that this very large sum of money represents a sound commercial investment in support of what I understand his right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade said is a privately sponsored British trade fair?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

I think that it is in every way admirable that we should show our allies and the world what the British Forces can do. This adds to the prestige and regard in which Britain is held. I can assure my hon. and gallant Friend that my right hon. Friend is satisfied that the Votes will not suffer.

Mr. Lipton

Would it not be a good idea if one or two hon. Members, including myself, could be invited to observe this particular experiment as well?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

I do not know whether the hon. Gentleman is suggesting that he should pay for the trip himself. No doubt we could arrange an entry ticket for him if he could find himself in the right place at the right time.