HC Deb 22 November 1967 vol 754 cc1282-3
2. Mr. Blaker

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he is satisfied that the sum of £300,000 recently granted by Her Majesty's Government to the British Travel Association for encouraging United Kingdom residents to take their holidays in Britain is adequate; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. J. P. W. Mallalieu

The "Holiday-in-Britain" campaign, which is estimated to cost £343,000 this year, was drawn up by a professional agency on the basis of market research and in full consultation with the British Travel Association. I believe that it will be effective.

Mr. Blaker

Is the Minister aware that while publicity by the British Travel Association is usually very well done and is no doubt useful, what is required, with respect to my hon. Friend the Member for Wanstead and Woodford (Mr. Patrick Jenkin), is not merely the abolition of the Selective Employment Tax, but the complete recasting of the Government's tax system so far as it affects the hotel and catering industry?

Mr. Mallalieu

The whole business of investment grants, and so on, for hotels is being looked at now.

Mr. Rees-Davies

Surely the Minister recognises now that that loan of £5 million was a failure; and that if we are to take advantage of this campign by the B.T.A. it is absolutely essential that the small person in the provinces running an hotel should take advantage of these small loans and grants? Will he see to it that his right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade understands that problem, and goes forward to deal with it?

Mr. Mallalieu

That problem is now fully understood, and if the scheme is extended it will be taken care of.

Sir K. Joseph

The Minister of State is giving the House very neutral replies about these matters. Can we take it that he, as Minister responsible for tourism, is ardently advocating the removal of S.E.T. by the Chancellor of the Exchequer from the hotel industry, and the provision of some sort of investment grant for the industry?

Mr. Mallalieu

We make whatever representations we think are appropriate.