HC Deb 17 May 1962 vol 659 c1515
12. Mr. Lipton

asked the President of the Board of Trade why there will be no official British pavilion at the 1964 World Fair in New York.

Sir K. Joseph

This is an exhibition designed to interest the general public, and not a trade fair. Responsibility for any official representation, therefore, rests with the Foreign Office. I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given by the Lord Privy Seal to the hon. Member for Glasgow, Scotstoun (Mr. Small) on 20th March, 1961, in which he explained that, as a signatory to the 1928 International Exhibitions Convention, Her Majesty's Government must refrain from participating in this fair, which fails to comply with the terms of the Convention.

Mr. Lipton

Is not this a wonderful example of passing the buck? Is it not the height of folly to miss a golden opportunity like this at a time when it is vitally urgent to boost British exports to the United States of America? Is it not obvious that the weary Willies and dreary dodderers in charge of our affairs have lost all sense of drive and initiative?

Sir K. Joseph

There are querulous questioners who fail to understand the drive behind British industry at present. There are plenty of fairs which receive the official support of Her Majesty's Government. What we are discussing is official support. There is nothing to stop any firm exhibiting at this fair if it decides to do so. We are bound by our signature to the Convention not to appear officially where the Convention is not being followed.