§ (1) Each Tourist Board shall establish committees to advise it in relation to the proper discharge of the functions and powers conferred upon it by this Act.
§ (2) Such committees shall include persons with knowledge of the tourist industry and the members of each committee viewed collectively shall be widely representative of those aspects of the tourist industry with which the particular committee is concerned.
§ (3) Persons may be appointed to serve on such committees without remuneration, but the Tourist Board may reimburse to such persons their expenses properly incurred.—[Mr. Blaker.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.
§ Mr. Speaker
With this new Clause we shall take the following group of further Amendments, all of which are linked with the same subject:
No. 4, in Clause 1, page 1, line 12, leave out 'five' and insert 'sixteen'.
No. 5, in page 1, line 13, after 'Trade', insert—'of whom six shall be designated by him to be and act, with the Chairman, as the Executive Committee'.1116 No. 6, in page 1, line 13, after 'Trade' insert—'one of whom shall be appointed by the Board of Trade after consultation with the Chairman of the Countryside Commission'.No. 9, in page 1, line 18, leave out 'six' and insert 'sixteen'.
No. 10, in page 1, line 19, after 'Trade', insert—'of whom six shall be designated by him to be and act, with the Chairman, as the Executive Committee'.No. 11, in page 2, line 1, leave out 'six' and insert 'sixteen'.
No. 12, in page 2, line 2, after 'Scotland', insert—'of whom six shall be designated by him to be and act, with the Chairman, as the Executive Committee'.No. 13, in page 2, line 3, leave out 'six' and insert 'sixteen'.
No. 14, in page 2, line 4, at end insert—The Chairman of each Tourist Board shall be a person having industrial or commercial experience and before appointing members of each Tourist Board the relevant Minister shall consult such interests concerned with travel and holidays in Great Britain as appear to him appropriate in order that so far as is practicable all interests so concerned shall be adequately represented.No. 20, in Clause 2, page 2, line 27, at end insert—(c) in order the better to carry out the functions in paragraphs (a) and (b) in this subsection, to encourage co-operation between itself and other persons or organisations 1117 engaged in similar functions, for which purpose it may set up or join in setting up such committees and consult with such other persons and organisations as it thinks fit.No. 21, in page 3, line 2, at end insert—(e) to provide financial or other assistance to any regional association which is or may be set up in England, Scotland or Wales to encourage the provision and improvement of tourist amenities and facilities or to carry on in or in relation to its region any activity which the Board has power to carry on under paragraphs (a), (b) or (c) of this subsection;.Government Amendment No. 24, in Clause 2, page 3, line 11, leave out subsection (3) and insert:(3) In discharging their functions under this section the English Tourist Board, the Scottish Tourist Board and the Wales Tourist Board shall have regard to the desirability of fostering and, in appropriate cases, co-operating with organisations discharging functions corresponding to those of the Boards in relation to particular areas within the countries for which the Boards are respectively responsible; and, without prejudice to the foregoing provisions of this section, each of those Boards shall have power to provide such organisations with financial or other assistance.(4) In discharging its functions under this section each Tourist Board shall have regard of the desirability to the desirability of undertaking appropriate consultation with persons and organisations, including those mentioned in the last foregoing subsection, who have knowledge of, or are interested in, any matters affecting the discharge of those functions.No. 26, in page 3, line 16, at end insert:(4) In discharging their functions under this section the English Tourist Board, the Scottish Tourist Board and the Wales Tourist Board shall have regard to the desirability of fostering and, in appropriate cases, co-operating with oganisations discharging functions corresponding to those of the Boards in relation to particular areas within the countries for which the Boards are respectively responsible; and, without prejudice to the foregoing provisions of this section, each of those Boards shall have power to provide such organisations with financial or other assistance.(5) In discharging its functions under this section each Tourist Board shall have regard to the desirability of undertaking appropriate consultation with persons and organisations, including those mentioned in the last foregoing subsection, who have knowledge of, or are interested in, any matters affecting the discharge of those functions.No. 78, in Schedule 1, page 18, line 40, at end insert:'save that the members of each Board who are not members of its Executive Committee shall be reimbursed their reasonable expenses incurred on the business of the Board but the Board shall not pay them salaries or fees'.1118 No. 79, in page 18, line 41, after 'members', insert 'of its Executive Committee'.
No. 80, in page 19, line 27, at end insert:12. The Board may reimburse to any member of a committee set up by it, whether separately or jointly with any other organisation, his reasonable expenses incurred on the business of that committee.
§ Mr. Blaker
First, Mr. Speaker, may I raise with you two points of order regarding how we should proceed with this group of Amendments?
When we reach that point, may we ask for a separate vote on Amendment No. 4, if required?
Second, I refer to the decision which you gave in answer to my right hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, North-East (Sir K. Joseph) at the beginning of our proceedings today. My right hon. Friend asked you to consider Amendment No. 24, pointing out that that Amendment began by proposing the deletion of subsection (3) of Clause 2, which relates to the promotion of Scotland and Wales overseas, and suggested that it might be taken separately from the remainder of Amendment No. 24.
I wonder whether it was your intention that there should be a separate debate on the first four words of that Amendment relating to Scotland and Wales, and a separate vote, if necessary, in which case I should not refer to that part of Amendment No. 24 in my remarks at this stage, since the debate on that matter would, presumably, be left to a later stage.
§ Mr. Speaker
I should wish to do anything which would prevent an hon. Member from making two speeches on the same subject at different stages. I had understood—I hope that I shall be corrected if I am wrong—that the Opposition wanted to keep subsection (3) and wished to debate the proposal to delete it. I had promised that I would separate the Question into two parts. I had thought—perhaps we might think about it between now and then, whenever "then" is—that the Opposition would thereafter be in favour of the new subsections (3) and (4), so that we might have a debate on the first part of Amendment No. 24 and, if necessary, a vote on both parts. Does that meet the hon. Gentleman's point?
§ Mr. Blaker
I cannot bind my hon. Friends, Mr. Speaker, but I expect that they will be favourably disposed to the second half of Amendment No. 24. If you agree, Sir, I would propose to discuss the second half of Amendment Nos. 24 now, as you have listed it among others for discussion with new Clause 4.
§ Mr. William Rodgers
I am not quite clear what is now proposed, Mr. Speaker. I understand that the Opposition see our Amendment No. 24 as falling into two parts and that they wish them to be treated separately. However, we put down the Amendment in this form because we thought that it best met the needs of the occasion. I shall be most grateful if you will guide us on whether we should vote separately on what is, in fact, a single Amendment, bearing in mind that you have said that you do not want two speeches on one Amendment.
§ Mr. Speaker
We are looking to the future, and we are trying at the moment to prevent the hon. Member for Blackpool, South (Mr. Blaker) from making a speech now and making the same speech hereafter. We shall have to come to it at its proper place, but I have suggested that I should accept the Opposition's request that we divide Amendment No. 24 into two parts. I do not think that that will damage the debate on either side. I shall put the two parts separately.
§ Mr. Speaker
I regret that I am not making myself clear to both sides. I have suggested that when we come to Amendment No. 24—we are not there yet—the debate should take place on the proposal to leave out subsection (3), and, if necessary—I do not think that it will be, in view of what was said from the Opposition Front Bench—there could be a debate on the second half of the Amendment.
§ Mr. Blaker
I am much obliged, Mr. Speaker. I will, therefore, leave out of what I am about to say remarks relating to the first part of Amendment No. 24.
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. We are not there yet. We never start a debate until both sides are satisfied that what we are doing is right, and the Minister looks troubled.
§ Mr. William Rodgers
I am very troubled, Mr. Speaker. Am I to understand that you propose that we should discuss the Amendment in my name as one Amendment, although obviously there will be remarks addressed to the separate parts of it, that when the time comes to vote you will divide the Amendment by a device which must be proper to yourself, because there is no means by which we can do that, and that there will then be two Divisions?
I understood you to say that there should be a single discussion now on this group of Amendments and the new Clause, to be followed, if necessary, by two Divisions. That seems to make good sense and to be a way of avoiding—as you wish to do—two separate debates
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. I am suddenly seized of the point the Minister is making, that among the list of Amendments we have grouped for this debate is Amendment No. 24. In view of that, I think that what we had better do is to debate all the issues in Amendment No. 24 and then when we come to it have two Divisions if necessary, separating the Amendment, as I said.
§ Mr. Blaker
I think that the proposition put to you, Mr. Speaker, by my right hon. Friend the Member for Leeds. North-East (Sir K. Joseph), at the beginning of today's proceedings on the Bill, was not that proposition. It was that we should have a separate debate on the first part of Amendment No. 24. Perhaps I might recapitulate his reasoning.
The first four words of Amendment No. 24 relate, in our view, to a totally separate matter—the overseas promotion of Scotland and Wales. That is totally separate from the rest of the matters comprised in new Clause 4, Amendment No. 4, or any of the other Amendments which it is proposed we should now take. I submit with the greatest respect that if we debate Scotland and Wales and their overseas promotion with the structure of the tourist boards, the consultation provisions and the committee system of the boards there will be a great deal of confusion. It will lead to clarity in debate, and it is within your powers, Mr. Speaker, if you say that we should debate, as well as vote on, the first four words of Amendment No. 24 separately.
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. Mr. Speaker does not need to be reminded of what is in his powers. He knows. I must confess that I had not taken cognisance of the tact that Government Amendment No. 24 was grouped with this one. I think that the best plan would be to leave Amendment No. 24 out of this debate altogether.
§ Mr. William Rodgers
On a point of order. I hope that you will forgive me for pursuing this matter, Mr. Speaker. Government Amendment No. 24 was put on the Notice Paper in response to discussion in Committee and might be considered as the central issue in our debate now. It is mainly concerned with the question of consultation and assisting regional tourist associations. I understand that the other Amendments which you had included in this group deal precisely with this question.
The separate question is leaving out subsection (3). It seems to me that in making your selection for this debate you have already disallowed an Amendment with this precise purpose. It is not for me to comment on what you should now decide to do, but I respectfully suggest that if the whole Amendment is left out of the debate we would have the same debate twice. One of the principal factors in our present debate on the whole area of consultation would then not be eligible for discussion.
§ Mr. Blaker
The Minister may not have observed that there is in the name of my right hon. Friend and myself Amendment No. 26, which is identical with his Amendment No. 24 except for the first four words. That Amendment has been selected by you, Mr. Speaker, for debate with this group of Amendments. Therefore, the Minister's point is not valid. There will be an Amendment with the identical wording covering regional co-operation and consultation, and, therefore, we shall be debating the substance of Government Amendment No. 24, except the first four words.
§ Mr. Younger
Amendment No. 24 consists of two different points, and, as you have said, Mr. Speaker, two Divisions might be appropriate. The point at issue is that we feel that it requires two separate debates. The last thing I want to do is to prolong the proceedings, but it would be impossible to do justice to the first part of the Amendment in the context 1122 of the large spread of other Amendments which are now grouped. I hope that we may be able to solve this by having a separate debate on the first four words. This would make matters go more quickly in the end.
§ Mr. Speaker
I am disappointed when the House gets bogged down in questions of procedure. All the Chair is trying to do is to help the House. I have promised that I will put the Question on Government Amendment No. 24 in two parts—first, to leave out subsection (3), and, second, on the rest of the Amendment. Unless we can reach agreement—and there does not seem to be agreement—I must rule, and I rule therefore that we must stick to the original suggestion, which is that we include in this discussion Government Amendment No. 24, when it will be possible for the Opposition to make all the observations they want to make on the first four words in Government Amendment No. 24 and all the rest of the words in that Amendment. We must proceed. I will consider, while he is speaking, the request of the hon. Member for Blackpool, South (Mr. Blaker) for a Division on Amendment No. 4.
§ Mr. Blaker
I must accept that Ruling, Mr. Speaker, but I think we shall find that the debate will be rather long because we shall be discussing a number of different matters.
The effect of new Clause 4 is to provide for a committee system which would advise the tourist boards in the performance of their functions. It would provide that the members of the committees would include persons with knowledge of the tourist industry, that they should have a certain representative character and include unpaid members.
As I have said, a number of subjects are covered by this group of new Clauses and Amendments. First, there is the committee system, with which goes the question of consultation with the industry by the boards. This is one of the most important matters in the Bill in relation to the success or failure of the boards. Then we have a series of Amendments, beginning with No. 4, which relate to the composition of the four boards to be set up. The effect would be to enlarge the boards from what is proposed in the Bill so that, instead of having about nine members, as the Bill proposes, 1123 each would have about 16. This would provide for representative members of the industry being on the boards so that the boards would not lose touch with the industry.
Our Amendments would also provide for the encouragement of the boards to set up regional associations—again, a matter of great importance for the success of the boards.
Then there is the matter of the overseas promotion of Scotland and Wales, to which we have just referred. All these are separate matters about which we put forward separate Amendments in Committee. All these matters were set aside at the suggestion of the Minister of State when he agreed to accept the Amendment from our side of the Committee to establish an English Tourist Board.
Hon. Members will recall that when the Bill first appeared there was provision for a Scottish Tourist Board, a Wales Tourist Board, the B.T.A. and only an English Advisory Committee. The view was taken that this was anomalous, and the Minister agreed to the creation of an English Tourist Board.
At that time he suggested that he should leave on one side the important matters of consultation, committee structure and relations with the industry and regional associations, so that the Government could consider the situation resulting from the creation of the English Tourist Board which, in the Minister's view, transformed the situation and required further reflection, and we agreed with that proposal.
§ Mr. Blaker
I certainly did not intend to mislead the House. When the hon. Member reads my remarks in HANSARD tomorrow, which I trust he will do, he may feel that he need not have made that intervention. The Amendments were proposed by our side of the Committee and received support from both sides.
1124 The point I am making is that, by agreement of the Committee, we set aside all these important matters to be debated on Report. That is one reason why the debate, and my speech, cannot be short. We are dealing now with five separate matters which were of sufficient importance to be set aside by the Minister of State in Committee.
To deal, first, with the composition of the board, the Amendment suggests that there should be 16 members and that the board should include unpaid members. In putting down the Amendment we have in mind the present composition of the British Travel Association, which is not a statutory body but a company limited by guarantee. It is a co-operative organisation although it receives money from the Government to carry out its duties.
If I may give examples to show the House what we have in mind, the members of the board of the B.T.A. include the Chairman of the Wales Tourist Board, the Chairman of the Scottish Tourist Board and the Chairman of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board. They also include a number of Members who are distinguished for their general business experience; a representative of the Greater London Council, the Chairman of the London Tourist Board, representatives of B.O.A.C., British Transport Hotels, the Association of Municipal Corporations and the British Resorts Association, a member of the Railways Board, a member of the Cunard Steamship Company, the General Secretary of the National Association of Theatrical and Kiné employees, a representative of the National Bus Company, a director of Shell-Mex and B.P., and representatives of the Brewers' Society, the Urban District Councils' Association and the British Hotels and Restaurants' Association.
I list all those members to show that this body is widely representative of the industry and that its members are able to speak for the industry. Amendment No. 4 is inspired by that pattern.
We make a distinction between the new model which we propose and the existing British Travel Association because we have provided in the new board for an executive committee of six members. It follows the Government's thinking that there should be a small central group of people with executive capacity, but 1125 around them we provide another 10 members who would be unpaid representatives.
We do not regard Amendment No. 4 as an alternative to new Clause 4. We regard it as having value in its own right. I shall turn in a moment to the committee system which should be set up under the various boards, but we feel that the boards themselves on top of the committee system should also be representative. There is a case for saying that the boards also should be representative of the industry.
I hope that the Minister will take the opportunity in this debate to give us his concept of the nature of the board, the sort of people who would be appointed, the extent to which they will be full time and the extent to which they will be paid. There was no such debate in Committee, and it is central to the whole success of the Bill.
Finally, in connection with the composition of the board we say that the chairman should have business experience and that the members of the board should be appointed in consultation with the industry. If he catches the eye of Mr. Deputy Speaker, my hon. Friend the Member for the Isle of Thanet (Mr. Rees-Davies), who has considerable experience of the tourist industry and its structure, will develop the arguments for the composition in due course.
Second, we have down Amendments to encourage regional associations. We do not regard those Amendments as alternatives to new Clause 4. We feel that regional associations are desirable in their own right. We believe that there must be some way of raising voluntary funds in future and that one of the ways will be through regional association. The raising of voluntary funds has been a successful feature of the British Travel Association. My hon. Friend the Member for Tiverton (Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop), again if he catches the eye of Mr. Deputy Speaker, will be developing the argument in relation to regional associations.
I come to new Clause 4, which deals with the committee structure under the boards. Little if anything is said in the Bill about the form of the structure of the boards. The Bill in Clause 2 outlines the functions of the new boards. In the expression "boards" I include the B.T.A., which is, as it were, the umbrella 1126 board. The Bill covers the functions and powers of the boards but says little about the structure. We suggest that it would be useful to write something into the Bill about the committee system.
Hon. Members on all sides will agree that the present British Travel Association has had a great record of success. One of the reasons for its success has been the feeling of the industry that the Association belongs to it. The industry feels involved in the activities of the British Travel Association. It is involved not only because it subscribes £200,000 a year to the B.T.A. but also because it is represented on its board and on all its committees. The B.T.A. receives in total £600,000 a year from the industry. The balance above the £200,000 is received in advertising revenue. The industry is glad to advertise in B.T.A. publications because it feels that the B.T.A. belongs to it.
I want now to give an example of the benefits of this feeling of involvement. The B.T.A. has on foot at the moment four experimental schemes for extending the holiday season which it is conducting at four different holiday resorts. These resorts are members of the B.T.A., and it is a slightly hazardous operation for them to undertake the expense required in the experiment. They have laid on facilities for six months in the year, whereas previously they were not required for more than three or four, and they have been persuaded by the B.T.A. to undertake this enterprise which, if it is successful, may lead to a breakthrough in the extension of the holiday season.
Another case in which the importance of this feeling of belonging is evident is the working out of package tours in which the present association plays such a leading rôle. It actually takes the initiative in thinking up possible package tours, putting them to the industry and getting them accepted. When a foreign travel agent wants advice about package tours, a package is already on the counter. He is not told that the association will see what can be worked out. It is ready for him, and that is one of the reasons for the association's success.
When working out package tours, it is necessary to get the co-operation of an immense number of enterprises—the railways, coach lines, historic house owners, festival organisers, hotel chains, tour 1127 operators and so on. Any activity in tourism has to be done by a committee of ten or a dozen people, because that is the shape of the industry; in fact, the industry is composed of parts of many other industries. That is the importance of the committee system.
Hon. Members will know of the system which now exists, with a home committee, an overseas committee, a historic houses committee, a publications sub-committee, a camping and caravan sites sub-committee and a hotel guide sub-committee. Each sub-committee contains members who are experts in their subjects and who serve without reward, representing their respective industries.
The problem of how to get the co-operation and involvement of the industry is a subject on which the Bill says nothing, and that is why we think that something should be written into it. I go on to point out that in the new Clause we have not said that the committee system must reproduce that which exists already in the B.T.A., even though it is so successful. We think that it is right to leave the matter flexible, but it is right, too, to put into the new Clause the principle that the committees should involve what my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Isle of Thanet has called the amateurs. These amateurs who serve without reward have played a valuable rôle in the association in the past, and we think that they should do so in the future. Moreover, it is vital not only that there should be amateurs on these committees, but that as much as possible they should be given the power of decision in the committees. They should not be persons who are simply summoned together as a matter of form to talk. As happens now with the B.T.A., when it takes a decision it should have results.
I go on to suggest, therefore, although we do not say it in the new Clause, that the committees set up by the boards should normally be chaired by a member of the respective board even if most of the rest of the members are amateurs, so that, in that way, as much as possible they have the power of decision.
I do not intend to imply by putting down this new Clause, or by any of the other Amendments that we have, that other consultations with the industry will not be necessary—clearly they will—but 1128 that the Committee system stands on its own.
The disappearance of the British Travel Association is viewed with mixed feelings—
§ It being Ten o'clock, further consideration of the Bill, as amended, stood adjourned.
§ Bill, as amended (in the Standing Committee), further considered.
§ Mr. Blaker
I was saying, Mr. Speaker, that the disappearance of the British Travel Association is viewed with mixed feelings because of its great success in the past. But we must accept that it will disappear and we must do our best to see that the new boards—[Interruption.] My hon. Friend says that we have not yet come to the question of the name. That I concede. But, whatever we call the new body, it is likely to come into existence. So we are faced with the problem of making sure that the new boards set off in the best possible atmosphere. Acceptance of the new Clause by the Government would be a striking demonstration to the industry that they intend to work in the closest co-operation with it. That would be a step towards winning the confidence of the industry.
Regretfully, I feel that the industry is inclined to say to itself, "What will these new boards do to us?" I hope that the House and the Government can create a situation in which the industry will ask, "What can we do with the boards?"
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. I have considered the request of the hon. Member for Blackpool, South (Mr. Blaker). I will grant a Division on Amendment No. 4. Mr. William Rodgers.
§ Mr. William Rodgers
I thought that it might be helpful if I said something at this early stage because, as the hon. Member for Blackpool, South (Mr. Blaker) has said, this is an important debate. I should not disagree with him when he mentions five different topics being embraced by this group of Amendments and the new Clause. Therefore, I 1129 will say something about these points now, and it may be that the Minister of State, Scottish Office, will find an opportunity later to answer some of the points which will no doubt be raised on the Floor of the House.
I turn, first, to the purpose of Amendment No. 24 which we have put down in the hope of meeting the wishes expressed in Committee. I gather from the Amendment put down by the Opposition that the proposals that we make here are broadly acceptable though, in their view, they do not go far enough.
The hon. Member for Blackpool, South has raised a number of issues related to the central question of consultation and the regional associations.
I should like to say a few words about what has proved to be a point of controversy from a procedural point of view; namely, the removal of the provisions of subsection (3), which requires the B.T.A. to publicise Scotland and Wales overseas in their own rightunless otherwise requested by the Scottish Tourist Board or the Wales Tourist Board …".No doubt my hon. Friend will have something to say about this later, but I should like to make clear that the subsection results from an Amendment made in Committee. Although its meaning is not wholly clear, I gather that it is intended to secure that Scotland and Wales shall be publicised as separate countries.
Throughout our discussions on Second Reading and in Committee there have been references to the British Travel Association, to which, again, the hon. Member for Blackpool, South has just referred. He said that it is of good standing and the industry does not want to see its procedures lost. This is very much the view of the hon. Member for Eastbourne (Sir C. Taylor).
I think it is fair to say that, and I should tell the House at this stage that the B.T.A. has written to express its concern about the provisions of this subsection which I am now proposing we should remove. The House may like me to quote some of the Association's comments:You will know that our Board has, on a number of occasions, emphasised the importance of the overseas promotion task being carried out on a national U.K. basis, and has 1130 been fully supported in this attitude by the Chairmen of the Scottish, Wales and Northern Ireland Tourist Boards.The marketing techniques which we use are generally commended, not only by the commercial interests but even by some of our foreign competitors, the national tourist offices in other countries, many of whom have been seriously weakened by the freedom given to other organisations in their respective countries to duplicate overseas promotion on a national or regional basis.It is right that the House should know that the association's view, after very mature consideration and long experience, is that it is in the best interests of Britain as a whole, of Scotland, England, and Wales severally, and Northern Ireland, too, that promotion should be of the whole. That does not mean that there may not be individual promotions for Scotland, England or Wales, but, in the long run, if we want tourists to come to Britain, it must be Britain that we are making the appeal on behalf of, although various parts of it may be differently attractive at different times to individuals. I ask the House to consider this very seriously. It is a matter of legitimate differences of opinion, but I do not think we should lightly discard the view so clearly expressed by the B.T.A.
I turn, now, to the next part of my Amendment, which proposes a new subsection (3) referring to bodies such as regional and area travel associations. Under the Bill as drafted a tourist board would be able to make contributions to the tourism work of such bodies and to pay them for agency work done on behalf of the board. That is all under subsection (2)(d) of Clause 2. Discussion in Committee, however, revealed a general desire to see a specific reference in the Bill to regional and area travel associations. We felt, and I hope the House will agree, that there should be a provision in the Bill which recognises the important part which voluntary tourist bodies have to play in developing the full potential of different parts of the country. I emphasise this because, whereas it is true that we are setting up new statutory bodies, the success of tourism in this country will depend not only on the new machinery which we have created but on the individual and collective efforts of all those who work in the industry and believe it to be important.
We see a great and growing rôle for voluntary tourist associations, and that is 1131 why we have made this specific provision that tourists boards will be expected to foster the growth and development of voluntary tourist bodies and to work closely with them. I expect that the economic planning councils which have made a notable contribution to regional development will see it as their rôle as well—I hope that the hon. Gentleman does not despise those who play their part in fostering voluntary bodies of this kind—so that the effort and the achievement will be shared around.
Subsection (4) has the purpose of drawing the attention of the new boards to the importance of consultations with the many interests concerned with tourism. This again is something that we discussed in Committee. I do not take the view that a formal structure of committees such as the hon. Gentleman proposes is required. I take the view that a large measure of discretion should be left to the new boards, when they have been set up, to consult the industry, to decide how best to keep in close and continuing contact. While I believe that this should be left largely discretionary, I am sure that it is right to spell out as we do here the desirability of consultation.
The tourist boards, to carry out their work successfully, will rely to a large extent on the established close links with the tourist industry and with other bodies concerned in any way with tourism. They cannot do their work without adequate machinery, not only for consultation, but for co-operative activity. They have adequate powers under the Bill as drafted to set up such machinery. I have, therefore, concluded that the right thing would be to include in the Bill a general provision to stress the importance of consultation.
I say "a general provision" because England, Scotland and Wales may wish to order their affairs in different ways. The problems of promoting and developing tourism in the three countries are different. They start from a different base in terms of tourist support, they are different geographically and there are existing bodies upon which each board may wish to build. That is the reason for this wide general provision, which will provide a great advantage in laying down the guidelines for the 1132 boards. I understand from the Minister of State, Scottish Office, that some discussions have already taken place there which he may mention later I have said that we believe that there should be a large discretionary element in the new machinery. What has been good for the British Travel Association may not necessarily be the right machinery for the new boards Also, although the British Travel Association has found one form of machinery satisfactory in the past, who knows but that it might have found the need to modify it to meet the needs of a rapidly changing industry? So we look to the boards to devise whatever machinery they think best, and it would be a pity to tie them in the way that new Clause 4 does.
§ Mr. Emery
Before the hon. Gentleman leaves this point of fostering and co-operating, particularly with the regional associations, would he say whether the boards will be able to pass small amounts of finance to regional associations—I am thinking of the South-West Travel Association—to assist them in the work which the boards would want done? That is an important point.
§ Mr. Rodgers
They will be free to do this, and we see it as one of the functions of the boards to help the associations with some finance—although not necessarily on a considerable scale. The hon. Gentleman will agree, that, throughout the development of the industry, we must see that both public and private funds are made available. It has been fairly said that regional associations must not now expect their burden to be passed over to someone else. On the contrary: I hope that the associations will be able to draw on an even wider basis of voluntary contributions from all those involved in that industry, all of whom have not always given sufficient aid to the associations in the past.
I turn now to that group of Amendments dealing with the size and the membership of the boards. The hon. Member for Blackpool, South pointed out that there is a thread running through these Amendments, from the earlier proposals on machinery. I acknowledge and accept his purpose, which is to see more people drawn into the activities of the authority and boards than simply 1133 the membership of those bodies. This is right; but when we are discussing tourism, and want the closest consultation and co-operation to cover all its aspects, we must not forget that the new tourist bodies will be successful in so far as they keep the consumer very much in mind.
Therefore, we should not move towards a position in which the tourist industry has the first and last word, although it must obviously have an important say, and must be consulted frequently about what the authority and the boards should do. Sometimes, in our discussions, I feel that the consumer has been left out. I was pleased with the trenchant contributions of my hon. Friend the Member for Yarmouth (Dr. Gray) in Committee, when he drew attention to the rôle of the consumer and the need not to overlook him.
In looking at the Amendments we should stick to our original intention of small, working, functional boards for England, Scotland and Wales, and a slightly larger board for the British Tourist Authority. These should be compact bodies, capable of taking day to day responsibility as well as making longer-term policy decisions. If we examine the nature of decision-making in industry, and the way in which new management techniques are becoming effective, we see that there is a great deal to be said, in terms of efficiency, for small boards consulting frequently with outsiders and others in the industry. We want the tourist boards and the authority to do a job, not to be places to which people can be retired to make a peripheral contribution to policy out of long experience. We want effective working bodies, which will help to develop and promote the industry.
§ Mr. Rees-Davies
An executive authority, as set out in Clause 1, would be one thing but how shall we get into effective control and decision-making the people of real experience if there is not a wider board which they can attend and feel they are taking an effective decision in the outcome? There will be about 16 people needed for that.
§ Mr. Rodgers
I doubt whether it would satisfy the hon. Gentleman or his friends if there was a wider council of 16 people. If I wanted to add up the heads of all involved in the tourist industry there would be more than 16. If we take it 1134 to that point, it becomes a nonsense. The right course is to have a small working body which will inevitably consult widely. Possibly a Tourist Board might choose to set up a consultative committee and then there could be 16, 26 or 56 members. It might decide to devise a committee system which would draw in many people to decisions of real responsibility.
The very proposals for an inner and outer cabinet give the game away in part, because hon. Gentlemen acknowledge the case for having a small group with main responsibility, but are merely anxious that the net shall be cast wide so that all the wisdom of the industry will be brought in to take part in decisions. I do not disagree with the net being cast wide. It has to be cast wider than it is, but it should not affect the central policymaking group. I have tried to review the position as we see it. Our Amendment makes provision for consultation for regional development. In that respect it meets the wishes expressed in Committee, and I hope that, when the time comes our proposals will receive full support and no effort will be made unreasonably to tie down the new Authority and boards.
§ Mr. Blaker
Before the hon. Gentleman sits down, would he say a little more about the membership of the boards and what sort of persons will be appointed? Will they be full-time and fully salaried?
§ Mr. Rodgers
As my hon. Friend the Minister of State for Scotland is to reply to the debate, he may choose to say a word or two about them. We have not made appointments; it would be improper to do so. I said earlier that we want those who are best suited to contribute to the growth of the industry. We shall find those that we can who will do this job, but I should imagine that they will have commercial, industrial experience, although I should certainly not preclude anyone, even someone having no prior close business knowledge of the industry, who can make an original contribution to the success of the venture.
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. I would remind the House that a goodly number of hon. Members wish to speak in the debate. Reasonably brief speeches will help.
§ Mr. J. Grimond (Orkney and Shetland)
From what I understand the Minister to have said, if we accept his view it 1135 will preclude the Scots or Welsh from making their own propaganda overseas. Can he confirm that this will prevent the Scots or Welsh from promoting their own overseas tourist attractions?
§ Mr. William Rodgers
The right hon. Gentleman will know that the chairmen of the Scottish, Wales and English Tourist Boards will sit on the Authority. They will play a full part in its discussions. I made it clear that the Authority will consult the boards in deciding what promotion there shall be. The point I was making, and which I hoped I had made clear, was that it would be for the Authority to look after promotion overseas. That is the way the British Travel Association has seen it in the past, and how it recommends it for the future.
§ Mr. Grimond
That confirms my worst suspicions. It means that it will be for the British Tourist Board to deal with the promotion of Scotland or Wales overseas. Scotland and Wales may make representations, and they may or may not have a seat on a board, but they will not have the right to promote their own tourist attractions overseas. That is a little unsatisfactory to Scotland—I am not in a position to speak for Wales.
First, it appears to be a hallucination of the English that they are widely beloved overseas; and that anyone who comes to Britain as a whole comes primarily to see the English. This is something that the British used to believe about the Americans. But many people come to Britain as a whole and go to Scotland or Wales, not England. The idea that all tourists to this country really come just to London and then move outwards—even to the provinces of England, or to Scotland or Wales—as an afterthought, is totally wrong.
§ Mr. Grimond
That may have been the case, but there are now a great many direct flights to Prestwick and other parts of Scotland for people who are anxious to go to Scotland only.
1136 Secondly, there are a great many attractions in Scotland and Wales which do not exist in England. For instance, people from other countries want to play golf in Scotland, but are not prepared to take the English word for the attractions of Scottish golf.
Thirdly, from past experience, we just do not rely on the English to know about Scotland. I myself would not presume to promulgate to the world the beauties of Putney. Putney appears to me to be an extraordinary jungle, into which I seldom venture. When I do, I find it very peculiar indeed. I would not dream of saying that I was a suitable man to project overseas the beauties of Putney. But anyone who lives in England appears to think that he is entitled to project Scotland, Wales, Ireland or anywhere else in the world. That is a total hallucination.
I ask the Minister to regard this matter extremely seriously, because what I say is the view, not only of the general public in Scotland but the view of those who deal with tourism professionally in Scotland—
§ Mr. Grimond
If the Minister is under the impression that his is the attitude of those dealing with tourism in Scotland, he is totally wrong.
In Scotland, there have been wide spread complaints about the projection of Scotland overseas by English authorities. At the moment there is strong demand in Scotland that Scotland itself should be allowed to explain its own advantages, its own beauties, to the world at large. I do not say anything about the latter part of the Minister's speech, but which deals with a different point, but I do ask him to consider this aspect again. It is not the case that the Scottish people, either at large or those dealing with tourism, are content to leave things on the basis that they will be entitled to make representations to some London-based authority about how Scotland is projected overseas.
There is a great deal to be said for allowing Scotland to project its own view overseas. If it is left to the English, Scotland may well be projected as a sort of tartan-wearing, haggis-eating country, of a mild peculiarity and with a comic 1137 opera view. In fact, its art, its beauty and its attractions to tourists depend to a very large extent on their being projected in a serious way by the people who appreciate them.
I ask the hon. Gentleman seriously again to consider this matter and to believe that the demand in Scotland is that Scotland should be allowed, at any rate on some occasions, to conduct its own propaganda overseas.
It may well be that the Scots should consult—I do not object to that—and on many occasions there may be a joint projection of Britain as a whole, but there are some occasions and some aspects of tourism on which the Scottish want their country to be projected by themselves in their own way. The Minister will be making a very grave mistake if he thinks that this can be met by saying that they have a seat or two on a British authority and can make representations to that authority.
§ Dr. Dickson Mabon
Will the right hon. Gentleman be kind enough to say who has told him this? He has referred to the people of Scotland, but who does he mean?
§ Mr. Grimond
The right hon. Gentleman will not be kind enough, but he holds in his hand a letter which bears this out.
§ Mr. Arthur Blenkinsop (South Shields)
I found it slightly depressing to hear the new separatist call from the right hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Grimond). It rather diminished his standing in this House.
I wish to turn to Amendment No. 6 in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, South (Mr. Carol Johnson), which is being considered with this new Clause and other Amendments. It raises a point of rather special importance. Although most of us, certainly those on these benches, are eager to see the Bill go through and to give it full support, although we very much welcome the proposals in it and also the statement by the Minister of State about consultation, we think it right that there 1138 should be special reference to the work carried out by the Countryside Commission in England and the Countryside Commission in Scotland.
Because of the special character of that work, which is carried out under the Countryside Act, there is a case for special reference to consultations with the Commissions. There should be an appointment to the new general authority covering travel of some person who has the confidence of the Countryside Commissions and is intelligible about the work that the Commissions are doing.
All of us would accept that, particularly in the last two years since the establishment of the Countryside Commission out of the earlier National Parks Commission, there has been considerable development of research and collection of information and also the provision of facilities for people who enjoy the countryside. The National Parks Commission had a very much more restricted remit. It was concerned with the national parks, but the Countryside Commission is concerned with the whole of the countryside and the sea coast. It is concerned not only with conducting surveys of facilities available for tourists but with those facilities themselves and their provision in a way which will do least damage to the natural beauty of the countryside, and also with ensuring that adequate provision will be made.
For that reason, my hon. Friends and I consider that there should be special reference to the Countryside Commission. The last thing we want is confusion about the rôle of these two bodies. We should be able to work out satisfactorily the rôles that each has to play. I do not think it will happen automatically, unless it is fully understood from the start that there are dangers. It is conceivable that there will be overlapping. Not only must there be the fullest consultation, but one of the members of the new authority should be someone with knowledge of the working of the Countryside Commission.
I hope that the Minister will be able to say something about the rôle of the Countryside Commission and the way it will work in with the new authority.
§ 10.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Rees-Davies
I think that we shall soon lose the former Leader of the Liberal Party to a monastic assembly so that he can pursue his future vocation as a crofter. Before he retires to his very pleasant islands in the Hebrides, or wherever it may be that he will pursue that great craft, I will tell him that it is a very clever Scot, a man who was educated at Fettes, who has been responsible in New York for the promotion of tourism in Great Britain, including Scotland. This has been one of the finest pieces of public relations work.
I throw in my lot with the Government in agreeing that the promotion of Britain as a whole is best done by a mixture of Celts, English, Scots and Irish in positions overseas without regard to their own countries. This is not to say that the Welsh may not have a case for saying that hitherto they have not been very effectively developed, but largely they have only themselves to blame, because as the Secretary of State for Wales and others have pointed out there is an overlapping in Wales between many institutions. Until this overlapping ceases, Wales will not get or deserve the benefit of greatly increased tourism.
I do not believe that in the promotion of tourism for Britain we can divide and rule. That way I have said that it should be pursued represents the view of a certain person who is Chairman of the British Travel Association. He has a good Scottish name, if nothing else. I would have said that he is a good Scot. In tourism there are large numbers of Scots and Celts who are well able to look after the individual interests of their respective countries.
On consultation, I am happy with Amendment No. 24. Scattered throughout the country is a proliferation of bodies all of which will seek to call themselves interested in tourism and claim the right to be consulted and to participate in decision-taking.
On Amendment No. 4, what is the right size of the executive authority? There is, first, the Chairman of the main authority—the B.T.A. There are the Chairmen of the English, Scottish and Welsh Tourist Boards. On any view, there will be an executive of a further five. That makes the nine wise men. I do not suggest other than that 9 is a good and 1140 useful figure as the principal executive controlling authority. But the fear is—I have said it many times, and these are views widely held by many of the leaders working in the British Travel Association, whom I could name—that the excellent committees on which people are now working will remain committees, and they will not have any real say or effective control in the day-to-day working of the new authority.
Here is an example. There is no reason why anybody at present on the Historic Houses Committee should necessarily become one of the executive members, the nine wise men. I can think of many names to illustrate the point. Two Members of the House of Commons are concerned, the hon. Member for Barking (Mr. Driberg) and my hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, West (Mr. Robert Cooke). They are two part-time members. I can think of various leaders in the tourist trade.
Lord Montagu of Beaulieu is in his own right a man of no mean authority in the promotion of tourism in Britain. I name him as one among many. It might be felt that a person of that calibre would be very useful in an executive body which had a real say. We have proposed a membership of 16 to give room for a further eight or nine men who would serve on the board as do members of boards of big companies, not being concerned with every decision taken from day to day.
Research can be important. The Government might wish to have the assistance of a university team to conduct research into tourism. The professor leading such a team would probably not qualify to be one of the five on the executive committee, but he would still qualify to be on the wider board. The hon. Member for South Shields (Mr. Blenkinsop) mentioned the Countryside Commission. Perhaps one of the leaders concerned on that side would be thought worth while as a man with a valuable knowledge to contribute to the wider board but not to the executive work of the smaller body of nine.
This is a different argument from the one I raised by Amendment in Committee. There, I was seeking to know whether the Government would retain the sort of structure of the B.T.A., and we got 1141 an undertaking that they did so intend, but without binding the Authority to continue in that way. The Committee was satisfied with that undertaking, and, broadly speaking, both sides of the House are willing to accept the provisions being made for consultation, subject to the arguments which may arise from Wales and Scotland about whether they have an effective say.
We must ensure that we have the right executive authority. The British Tourist Authority must have effective control over four matters: (1) its own administration; (2) the securing of effective co-ordination, without overlapping, in the various branches of tourism; (3) the promotion and execution of effective research; (4) the pursuit of its true promotional function, advertising and public relations. The five men and the four cannot give the breadth of view needed for such a wide industry.
It is 15 years since I first addressed the House on the need to try to do something to co-ordinate the tourist industry. Very little has been done. The Conservative Government put Lord Hill in charge of trying to get together with the Ministries to co-ordinate the industry. This was a complete failure from beginning to end. It was not Lord Hill's fault. He was an able enough man for the task.
Then the Labour Party came to power. Nothing has been done about co-ordination. What has been done to bring the fine arts together? Not an iota. The British Museum is run by the Treasury and the Department of Education and Science is trying to operate the Victoria and Albert Museum, while the Ministry of Public Building and Works is higgledy-piggledy in charge of a whole range of other things. If one tried to arrange a tour in this country to see the different museums one would need to go to half a dozen different authorities.
Dealing with historic homes are the Civic Trust and a paraphernalia of bodies. There is not even one guide where one can get them together. This is serious, because within a year come the jumbo jets. It would not be at all difficult to have 1,000 or more Americans coming to this country every week next year on package tours, and the B.T.A. is trying to provide precisely that. It has 1142 laid on the best theatre tours to be found anywhere in the world. One can fly here from New York and return for £75, having five days here, and going to a theatre every night. It is cheaper for a man in New York to come here and go to the theatre than it is for a man in California to go to New York and do the same.
What do the Government do about it? They do not co-ordinate anything. All is one big muddle, overlapping in every direction. The only hope is to create a British tourist authority with sufficient power and authority to knock together the heads of the Ministries and the other bodies. It is not very easy to knock people's heads together in this country. They do not take easily to it without doing something about it, usually in an eruptive fashion, and so it is necessary to try to find the best people and put them in authority. That is what the Amendment is really all about.
We believe that there should be a very small executive body—the nine wise men. There might even be a girl among them if we are lucky. We should then try to get the other people of authority to have a real say. It is no good just consulting them. We have all consulted them. There must have been at least 15 bodies that the Government consulted when we were settling those endless Amendments in Committee, and there are another 15 bodies that my hon. Friend the Member for Blackpool, South (Mr. Blaker) has probably seen. We all see them in connection with this and other Bills.
Before the Bill leaves another place we want the Government to have another close look and consider whether we can get the people from these other industries to have an effective say, beca use otherwise the men and women serving on the important research committees, the overseas committees and the rest will be lost. They will not have an effective say, and they will not be able to support the Board of Trade, which must be the leading Ministry in this matter, it must find the people to co-ordinate the effort to prevent overlapping in all these different industries. The promotion of public relations overseas, the question of the fine arts, the historic homes, the question of support must all come under one umbrella in time.
1143 Now is the opportunity to get ahead with the task. I hope that the Government will seize it and get ahead with it and that we shall thus have an effective Measure which, when we return to power we shall be delighted to take over and make even more effective.
§ 10.45 p.m.
§ Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop
In the interests of brevity, I shall confine my attention principally to Amendment No. 21. Its principal objective is not just to permit the national as opposed to the British tourist boards to sub-contract a considerable portion of their work to local or regional travel associations, which either already exist in some areas, I am glad to say, or, as a result possibly of encouragement given by such a provision, will come into existence. It is obvious from our discussions in Committee that there are parts of Britain which do not have local travel associations and would be glad to see them developed.
There is a difference between laying a specific duty on the English and Scottish and what is called, for some reason, the Wales rather than the Welsh tourist boards to provide financial assistance of this kind and merely saying that they are not prevented from doing so. Our experience in the South-West has led to the reasonable conclusion that, £ for £ of expenditure, local tourist or travel or promoting associations—let us call them that—can give a much better return than a very large organisation paying enormous rents for office accommodation in some already overcrowded centre of population.
Anyone who knows, for example, the work of the South-West Travel Association—and I do not apologise for referring to one in the area which I represent—cannot help noting that this body, which covers an area providing 22 per cent. of the holidays taken in Britain, operates on a budget of about £13,000 a year. That budget is quite inadequate, but no one familiar with the activities and enthusiasm of the association can deny that the return on the investment, which is almost entirely made up of voluntary contributions by enterprises in the areas, is truly amazing.
It is one thing to ask for financial assistance in general terms—that is always a popular thing to do—but we 1144 owe a duty, when considering expenditure of public money, to indicate our priorities, because otherwise individual claims become submerged in the sand of general claims. That has often happened. There are two major courses. The first is to make considerable sums of public money available to organisations on the ground that they have demonstrated their capacity to raise voluntary funds. The second is to reward success and relate the scale of financial assistance from the Government to the success which the entity concerned has in persuading people to back it voluntarily.
Those are the two alternatives, and the latter commends itself to me more than the former, first, because it gives an incentive to local or regional tourist-promoting entities to provide for themselves from the people who primarily derive profit from their activities, which is a reputable thing to want to do, and, secondly, because it rewards success. It might not be an entirely irrelevant parallel to mention parsons whose Easter offerings, instead of appearing in the plate, are doubled by the diocese, an entirely healthy process which apparently meets with the approbation of the Church of England.
Where there is a major task to be fulfilled by the regional or local tourist associations, it is not enough to have ad hoc transfusions for a given promotional purpose, for example, for Lorna Doone year, in the West Country, or somebody else's year somewhere else. This may be desirable when these bodies are starved of financial resources, but it is not the most economical way or spending money. It usually costs more to employ personnel on a "hiring and firing" system, and one gets less in return, since people continually have to be trained for the job and are dismissed at the end of the project budget. This is not a sensible way of doing it.
§ Mr. Eldon Griffiths (Bury St. Edmunds)
I have listened with great interest to my hon. Friend's arguments, but will he bear in mind that one reason why his regional association appears to be doing well is that it is using private and voluntary resources, and therefore the disciplines are likely to be a great deal higher than with public money.
§ Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop
I fully take my hon. Friend's point, and that is why of 1145 the two alternative systems of allocating public money I prefer the second one, which relates the allocation of public funds to the success of raising it from voluntary sources. This discourages bodies from being lazy about collecting funds on their own behalf. Even if the quantum of money which they have demonstrated their capacity to collect is doubled, trebled or multiplied by ten, tight financial control is still needed to make the money go round.
I am not criticising this. If one thinks of the allocation of public funds to promoting tourism in Wales or Scotland, which is so many times what is allocated to the South-West—indeed, nothing is allocated to the South-West—one may wonder what are the criteria. The total funds allocated to Welsh and Scottish tourism are about the same as are allocated to the South-West, yet there is no perceptible relationship between the allocation of central Government funds between the two. I am not saying that there should be, but merely pointing out the disparity and, where there is an enormous disparity, it is reasonable that the person responsible for the disbursement of public funds should justify that disparity.
It may be said that this is special pleading because the South-West has been particularly successful in generating a voluntary travel association which operates on a financial shoestring. This is not the case. I would be happy, as I am sure would my colleagues from the South-West, to see such organisations set up in other parts of the United Kingdom, because we all have an interest in promoting tourism in the United Kingdom as a whole.
It is not a question of robbing Peter to pay Paul. There is a momentum in tourism, and tourists from abroad are far more likely to travel from one place to another than are tourists and holidaymakers originating in the United Kingdom. Even those originating in the United Kingdom have become far more mobile.
The research done on behalf of the South West Travel Association by Miles-Kelcey shows this clearly. British Rail each year notice a diminishing request for their services in moving holidaymakers because the holidaymakers want to be mobile once they arrive at the other end, 1146 not because they like being stuck in a queue of traffic on the way to their destination. They want a degree of mobility when they arrive, and the same is undeniably true of visitors from overseas. We may caricature their ambition when they say they want to "do" Britain, but this is precisely what they want: to see as much as possible and to take as wide a range of photographs as possible, to get a disparate experience, rather than an identical experience, within the limits of the time and finances available to them.
I do not regard publicity which attracts people to another part of Britain as being inimical to the interest of the area I represent. To adopt that attitude would lead to fewer tourists for everybody, particularly the overseas tourists. We need a blend of the two in advertising with the idea that we are not going to get people anywhere in Britain without getting them to Britain. As a general proposition, the more places we can get them to visit, once they come, the more money they will spend while here.
The cheapest way of spending a holiday is generally to spend it in one place, because transport costs can be considerable when one moves from one place to another. It will be the initial task of the British Travel Association—for some reason referred to on the outside of the Bill as the British Tourist Authority, although this was amended in the Standing Committee—to promote the flow of tourists from abroad into Britain.
To do that to the greatest advantage, the attractions of the individual holiday resorts and places of interest and entertainment within Britain, in their richness and variety, need to be drawn to the attention of overseas visitors. It is not because we want too many to come to the same place at the same time. We have all seen holiday areas become almost castrated of national characteristics with too many visitors of one nationality appearing at the same time in the same place.
"She will have Hilton wherever she goes"—and maybe the bar is given a local name and the restaurant another local name; and maybe some Americans want Hilton wherever they go, but many overseas visitors come to this country to see it as it is, just as many people leave Britain to go to other countries to see 1147 them as they are, rather than as a ridiculous façade set out to reproduce conditions in our own country or vice versa.
I recommend Amendment No. 21 with a clear conscience. It is not intended to promote any one part of the United Kingdom as against another. It is merely in support of the proposition that size, centralisation and efficiency by no means necessarily go together and that, where we can harness part-time and voluntary effort and enthusiasm and increase its capacity for achievement by assistance from public funds, very often we are bringing the best possible use of public funds which, as we all know, are scarce and will remain so in the foreseeable future.
§ 11.0 p.m.
§ Sir John Gilmour (Fife, East)
I want to say a few words about Amendment No. 24. I had some success in Committee in getting agreement that power should be given to the Scottish and Welsh Tourist Boards to see that the interests of Scotland and Wales as tourist countries were promoted.
I do not quarrel with the Minister of State about the advantages of advertising Great Britain as a whole, but it must be appreciated that Part II of the Bill is short-term, whereas Part I is intended to go on for a longer time, and it is no good passing legislation which takes no cognisance of the fact that great changes are likely to come. Following up the Minister's words about the need to advertise Britain as a whole, if we go into Europe, is it suggested that we should publicise Europe as a whole, and carry on in that way?
If we have one centralised body promoting tourism for Britain as a whole, is it envisaged that there will be fair shares for all and that, instead of being able to make the best of the tourist facilities available in certain sections of the United Kingdom, the jam will be spread proportionately to population, and so on? While I am certain that the majority of promotion can and should be done overseas on a United Kingdom basis, it cannot be sensible to write into the Bill facilities which do not allow any deviations.
In Scotland, for instance, we have a western seaboard which is as good as anything to be found in Norway. It is 1148 to be hoped that someone in the future will have shiploads of tourists sailing up and down the coast and will then send his ships somewhere else in the winter, which is important in view of our short tourist season. Any commercial firm involved in such an undertaking will want to advertise overseas with a view to attracting foreign visitors, but, as I understand it, the Scottish Tourist Board will be unable to go in with the firm.
To take another example, if the complex at Aviemore decides to run a special week or fortnight and is prepared to spend money overseas promoting it, the Scottish Tourist Board will not be able to go in on it.
We are putting ourselves into too much of a strait-jacket. It may be that we did not get the wording of Clause 2(3) right, but the Government are going too far in making certain that the Scottish and Welsh Tourist Boards do not have this special function and facility. This is a mistake in the framing of the Bill. It is not a question of saying that we do not believe in selling the United Kingdom as a whole; it is a question of making certain that the changing pattern of trade in future can be catered for and that, when there are special circumstances, they can be used.
Furthermore, how is it possible to say that the Scottish Tourist Board will have the right to spend money on providing literature for use in this country which does not appear to be suitable for use overseas? [Interruption.] I understand from the Government's Amendment that the Scottish Tourist Board does not have the right to spend money overseas. If it is producing literature which is useful for promoting tourism in the south of England, I cannot see, as a result, that it is allowed to use this literature overseas.
§ Dr. Dickson Mabon
The hon. Gentleman must know that the Scottish Tourist Board now is commissioned by the British Travel Association to prepare material which the B.T.A. sends abroad—and it is very effective. That is done by the S.T.B. There is no reason why it should not persist.
§ Sir J. Gilmour
This means that it is spending money and taking part in promotion overseas. This seems sensible.
1149 I cannot help feeling that whilst the Amendment that we made in Committee may not have been entirely satisfactory, the Government's Amendment is no better. If anything, it is making the situation rather worse. I hope that even at this late stage we can find a better compromise which would deal more effectively with the situation.
§ Mr. Gower
I have discovered tonight that on the two sides there is a completely different approach to the composition of the board. This has been muted by the reasoned way that both sides have explained their opinions. The Government have opted for a small board, which they would probably describe as a highly professional body. I find some reason for apprehension in the composition of that Board.
My hon. Friend the Member for Blackpool, South (Mr. Blaker) asked what the composition of the board would be, and the Minister said that perhaps we would hear something about it at the end.
But we can ascertain a good deal about the composition of this authority from the Bill. First, we are told that there will be a chairman appointed by the President of the Board of Trade. Then there will be the chairmen of the respective boards in England, Scotland and Wales appointed by the respective Ministers, the President of the Board of Trade, the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Secretary of State for Wales—again Government appointees. The five other members of this authority will again be appointed by the Minister. So the authority will be a collection of nine placemen all appointed by Ministers.
The respective boards for England, Scotland and Wales will have similar appointments. Their chairmen will be appointed, respectively, by the President of the Board of Trade, the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Secretary of State for Wales. Their members in turn will be appointed by Ministers. I only hope that the Ministers will exhibit great wisdom in choosing these individuals. However, I feel that it is a source of possible weakness that they will all be Government appointees selected in this way.
It would be far better if there was some tolerance outside this narrow selection 1150 and these relatively small bodies of appointees had the same power to co-opt other part-time members from the industry in general, or if, indeed, as is the case today, there was some provision for representation by members of other organisations connected with the tourist industry.
It is an unfortunate circumstance that these boards are to be so small, appointed in all cases either by the President of the Board of Trade or, indirectly, by other Ministers.
I think that a powerful case was made out by my hon. Friend that these should be larger boards. Not only should they be larger boards which include some of the experts in the tourist industry outside this narrow field of Government appointees, but there should be some different system of appointment for members in excess of the number of the inner group or executive committee which has been proposed by us.
We have the argument about the introduction of some different structure similar to that which has been employed with great success in the past. The Government have rejected our appeal that this should be written into the Bill in the way we propose. This is unfortunate, because here again we shall see the reverse of this small specialised professional body and the maintenance of what my hon. Friend the Member for the Isle of Thanet (Mr. Rees-Davies) called in Committee the preservation of something of the amateur in this industry. In this sense amateur is not a term of disparagement but of approbation. In this industry we need to maintain the specialised knowledge of those who will not necessarily be good full-time members of the board, but who could nevertheless give a great deal to the work of these boards if they were enabled to be part-time members.
I turn, now, to the question of publicity overseas, which was referred to by my hon. Friend the Member for Fife, East (Sir J. Gilmour). I accept the Minister's view that most of the promotion can best be done by the authority as a whole, but I think that he was wrong in suggesting that there is universal approbation in Scotland and Wales for the way in which this work has been done in the past and is likely to be done in the future. There is a good deal of discontent in Wales and 1151 in Scotland about this, because most of the visitors to this country do not visit Scotland or Wales. Most of them do not even visit parts of England outside London.
§ Mr. Gower
Or Workington. The fact remains, however, that whatever its success in other directions, the B.T.A. has not been particularly successful in steering these overseas visitors to many parts of the United Kingdom. That is why we in Wales, and why many people in Scotland, had hoped that over and above the general power given to the main authority these boards would have some powers in connection with overseas promotion.
§ Mr. Eldon Griffiths
Does not my hon. Friend think that it must be part of the duty of B.T.A. to steer people away from certain parts of the United Kingdom?
§ Mr. Gower
That may be so, but it is the association's duty to try to steer more visitors beyond the confines of the Metropolis. They have not been doing this in the past, although perhaps it is not easy. We would like larger boards, not limited to placemen appointed by Ministers, the maintenance of the committee structure which has served the industry so well, and some power for the separate boards to have some say in overseas promotion beyond the general power of the authority.
§ 11.15 p.m.
§ Mr. A. G. F. Hall-Davis (Morecambe and Lonsdale)
I was not on the Committee, so, although I have studied those proceedings and these tonight with interest, mine is perhaps a "green" view of the Bill. But this is an important aspect of tourism, and I am not happy with the Government's solution. The Minister of State has said that he wants the new authority and the boards to be "effective working bodies". Whether 1152 they are effective at their present size must depend on what work he envisages them doing. Amendment No. 24 encourages me. The new subsection (4) gives the boards particular responsibilities, and Clause 2(1) gives wide freedom to the B.T.A. My hon. Friend the Member for the Isle of Thanet (Mr. Rees-Davies) said that we wanted some body taking a broad view, and for this purpose the numbers suggested by the Government are not sufficient.
If tourism is to flourish, it must permeate our economic thinking, and not just be grafted on to our economic arrangements. It has taken the Government four or five years to realise that tourism is integrated with our whole economy. If it is to expand, there should be people on the authority with the capacity and the time for creative thinking about the industry's infrastructure for the next ten or 15 years. Government spokesmen give the impression that they concentrate on tourism in the short term but make insufficient provision for the authority to have the time or resources to do this creative thinking.
If the Government make the authority larger it might be able to roll into it some of the other bodies now advising the Government and industry on related matters. I would like to see the authority become the Government's principal adviser and source of creative thinking. I want it to have time and sufficient personnel to think about the change in increasing the provision of activity holidays for our people. This can help underpin the industry and, without taking an unnecessary protectionist attitude, it has a direct effect on the balance of payments.
In subsection (4) of Amendment 24 the Government propose that the tourist boards should have regard to:… the desirability of undertaking appropriate consultation with persons and organisations, including those mentioned in the last foregoing subsection, who have knowledge of, or are interested in, any matters affecting the discharge of those functions.The number of people interested in or with knowledge of matters affecting the discharge of the responsibilities of the boards and the authority are very great. At the risk of being tedious and parochial, let me give an illustration from my constituency. At present the Water Resources Board is responsible for the 1153 conduct of a feasibility study into the construction of a barrage across Morcambe Bay. A project of this kind, if implemented, will have more impact on the leisure and tourist industry in the North-West than any 50 or 100 minor matters.
When this kind of project is considered, I hope that the new authority will be able to examine it in great detail and with great expertise, advising the Government on the leisure and tourist aspects. This is being done now, and the Chairman of the North-West Economic Planning Council is closely concerned. The figures involved are £50 million to £70 million, and the leisure element of the project has a capital value of £20 million to £30 million. The authority should be able to give thorough consideration to such vast projects.
The present numerical strength of authority and the boards would not be sufficient to enable the necessary forward creative thinking to put our tourist industry into a rôle as important in the economy in the '70s and '80s as coal and textiles were in the pre-1940 era. In the North-West, where tourism is successful, it is not isolated from general economic life, it is an integral part of the whole thinking of those responsible for the conduct of economic affairs. I should like to see a board which was more numerous, so that it could talk at the necessary level for the necessary time and be able to understand and pursue these matters and not act as a posting house for the passing on of other people's ideas, which is all that it will be able to do with the numbers now proposed.
§ Mr. Anthony Stodart (Edinburgh, West)
If, as has been said, the British Travel Association does work against Clause 2(3), it does not surprise me very much. It is probably quite nervous of not being neutral as between the three countries involved. Let us make no bones about it: really active members from Scotland and Wales will put pressure on the board to publicise towns and areas in their own countries, and I can see the British Travel Association having considerable difficulty in adequately fulfilling its task.
I am extremely interested in the hint we have had from the Minister of State, Scottish Office about the discussions 1154 which he has been having, and to which his hon. Friend the Minister of State, Board of Trade referred. I am quite sure that the Scottish Tourist Board would not agree with the views of the British Tourist Association or, if it did, it would indicate a complete change in the attitude adopted for years. One of the continual cries of Mr. Nicholson—who is, perhaps, more entitled than anyone else to be called "Mr. Tourism in Scotland"; he knows the job probably better than anyone else—was that the Scottish Tourist Board was not able to publicise itself overseas. With great respect, I do not think that the British Tourist Association can be expected—it certainly cannot be relied on—to promote the pleasures and the scenic loveliness of Achiltibuie and the Summer Isles when the season when they are at their best coincides with some lovely weather on the West Coast of Ireland.
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Grimond) was accused of being separatist when he said that the Scottish Tourist Board wanted a hand in this business, and that a lot of people thought that it should. There is nothing separatist about this. The main task is to bring people to the United Kingdom. Tourism is a tremendous revenue earner, and how we achieve our objective does not desperately matter. If one way or one time is more effective, let us be flexible in using every possible means of attracting people.
Scotland is very popular overseas, I do not wish to disparage my right hon. and hon. Friends and hon. and right hon. Members opposite who have the misfortune to be English—that is the last thing I would do—but I know, as the Minister will know when he goes abroad, that when a British visitor clocks in at an hotel and it is said, "Ah—Anglais", there are immediate smiles, until he says "Anglais—non: Ecossais"—and then the sun really breaks through and he gets much better treatment.
There is therefore an exercise to be done in reverse, and good publicity by the Scottish Tourist Board could be of colossal benefit to the United Kingdom. People will not just come to Scotland and then not come south—not as long as we have a border and not a frontier. As it is, they come to London and then a few, but not enough, find their way north. If we started the movement in 1155 the reverse direction and got a lot of people going to Scotland, which is tremendously popular, they would not just stay there but would come south, and it would be of colossal benefit to the economy of the country as a whole.
§ 11.30 p.m.
§ Mr. Eldon Griffiths
I am sure that at this late hour we are doing very little for the leisure industry of hon. Members. I think the complaints and arguments which have been made prove conclusively that the advisory boards will be too small. They will not be able adequately to advise the Executive at the centre, for there will be too few people on them and they will not represent adequately the great variety of interests in the country.
I was in two minds when I heard my hon. Friend the Member for Tiverton (Mr. Maxwell-Hyslop) so eloquently deal with Amendment No. 21. I thought it would be a good thing if instead of simple representation from Scotland and Wales the English regions should not be overlooked. He made a convincing case for the regional associations which his Amendment proposes. I thought that alongside a regional association for the South-West there should be a regional association for East Anglia. This would be very sensible, because in the past the East Anglian region—one of the loveliest in the country—has had very short shrift by the national tourist associations. We have been represented as a combination of Silly Suffolk and Sandringham, with perhaps one or two beaches at Yarmouth. An East Anglian association would do a very much better job. It would no doubt promote for foreign tourists the very real attractions of our area, the seascapes, the shores, the Broads, the Wash and the rivers. It could do a very much better job than has been done in promoting the attractions of our cities of Norwich, Cambridge and Colchester and the charming smaller towns such as Lavenham and Long Melford.
In the past the national tourist associations have done an inadequate job in promoting these regional attractions. At the centre of the work of such a regional association as my hon. Friend suggested would be that area of the countryside covered by Bury St. Edmunds. I am sure that you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, would be the first to wish that such a regional 1156 association should bring out the special charms of West Suffolk. Here in a very small area we have an immense variety. In the chalk country we have the beauties of Newmarket. I am sure that many foreign tourists would wish to go there. Further north we have the sandy country with the lovely forest on the borders of Suffolk and Norfolk. A regional association, unlike great boards in London, would draw attention to the attractions of the forest. Then there are the lovely clay valleys of the middle area of West Suffolk with the villages of Wickhambrook and the charming Constable country of the Stour. What more could a regional association want more than the opportunity of presenting across the plains of the Middle West the attractions of the Stour Valley of Suffolk? I think, too, not simply of the geographical charms of the area but of its great history. Having lived in the United States, I know how the Americans are attracted to the history of our area. As my hon. Friend's Amendment proposes, a regional association would be far more concerned with, and far more capable of putting forward, the historical attractions of the West Suffolk area than any large-scale national organisation such as is proposed in the Bill.
We have, for example, in Bury St. Edmunds the great abbey where the knights met to draw up the dress rehearsal for Magna Carta's signing at Runnymede. A regional association, and a regional association alone, would present such local things far more effectively than any national organisation. This year the 1,300th anniversary of St. Edmund offers a splendid opportunity for a regional association to put forward.
I think I have illustrated my theme well enough. Here is a great opportunity, as my hon. Friend has proposed, for regional associations all the way across our country to get down to the real job of bringing tourists to England as she is lived on the ground. But, having put forward these very strong arguments in favour of my hon. Friend's Amendment, I shall not be able to support it, for, attractive as these possibilities may be, I fear that his Amendment, and, indeed, most of the Bill, is simply another device to erect yet another bureaucracy to hand out yet more public money for purposes better served, in my opinion, by private enterprise. That would lead me into a 1157 wider theme than I am permitted this evening. I simply say that I cannot support my hon. Friend's Amendment simply because it is asking that yet more public money should be handed out by yet another regional bureaucracy.
In his own argument, what my hon. Friend did was to present to the House an admirable description of the South-West Tourist Association, and he indicated how with a tiny budget, £13,000, it was, if anything, doing a far better job for the region than all the great national organisations that had so far intervened in its affairs. What a splendid case he made out! He illustrated the significant difference between moneys provided privately by the voluntary associations which produced the £13,000 and the rather less effective job which would have been done, and is being done, by Government funds and Government bureaucracies. It seems to me that, far from making his case, my hon. Friend proved precisely the opposite. He proved that a private organisation using voluntary funds is far more likely to do an effective job than all the big bureaucracies that are proposed in his Amendment and all through the Bill.
So, beguiled as I am by the possibility of regional associations being able to advertise to the world the charms and attractions of West Suffolk and, in particular, Bury St. Edmunds, I fear I must tell my hon. Friend that his Amendment places me in a dilemma between my desire to promote the beauties of my constituency and my loyalties to the principles of private enterprise, for which I stand on this side of the House, and as between these two attractions I am bound to come down in favour of the Simon Pure doctrine of leaving it to private enterprise to promote this, and, therefore, I cannot support his Amendment.
§ Mr. Younger
It is a great pity that the Government tabled Amendment No. 24 in its present form, which is simply to delete one subsection and insert two subsections in its place which have no relation to the one that is to be deleted. This is why the difficulty has arisen and why those who disagree with the first part of this Amendment think that we have had an unsatisfactory debate. It has been an unsatisfactory debate, not because my hon. Friends have not had the chance to speak, but 1158 because the diffuseness of it all and the interspersing of one argument with another have not enabled us to present the Government with a perfectly sensible and serious point which I know is strongly felt in Scotland and, for all I know, in Wales.
At one point during the debate the Minister of State, Scottish Office was wearing which I call—my Scottish colleagues will know what I mean—his S.E.T. face. This is a face which betrays his mounting uncontrollable agitation and is usually the prelude to one of his celebrated knock-about winding-up speeches which are entertaining but totally irrelevant, in which he lashes out at as many people as possible irrespective of whether they have said what he says they have said.
I hope that the Minister of State will accept the argument about permitting the Scottish Tourist Board to have the right on occasions to operate from overseas as being a serious marketing argument as well as being somewhat of an emotional argument for people in Scotland. As there is a respectable case for what the Minister proposes—that is, that Britain can be promoted effectively only by promoting it everywhere as Britain—so there is an equally respectable technical and marketing case—respectable in terms of business generally—for the contrary view, namely, that if several similar major products are advertised, to put it in an industrial connotation, the total market will be increased. Everybody in industry knows that if someone who is selling razor blades introduces a new product and spends a lot of money on advertising it, sales will be gained for the new product but at the end of the day the total market for the product as a whole, including that of his competitors, will have been increased also.
It would be a great pity to put on to the Statute Book these very restrictive words in page 3, lines 3 to 5:but only the British Travel Association shall have power to carry on any activities outside the United Kingdom for the purpose of encouraging people to visit Great Britain or any part of it".I accept that a vast amount of the promotion of Great Britain overseas is, will be and should be done centrally by the British Travel Association. The association can pool resources and services. It 1159 can do the job more economically. It can concentrate and provide the money and get the necessary spread overseas. But I cannot and will not accept that in no circumstances could the Scottish Tourist Board or the Wales Tourist Board better carry out the promotion of Scotland or Wales. Many people engaged in the Scottish tourist industry have represented to me that this is their view, too.
It is important that the House should have from the Minister tonight a clear indication whether the Scottish Tourist Board is in favour of what the Government propose. I should be very surprised if it is. I hope that the Minister will make a clear statement whether the Scottish Tourist Board approves of what the Government are doing in Clause 2.
I hope that the Minister will even at this late hour recognise that it is not our purpose to split all the "Come to Britain" advertising into tiny fragments all over the world. Nothing could be further from my wish than that. But will he also accept that the Scottish Tourist Board—I cannot speak for the Wales Tourist Board, but I think that it would be the same—must in many respects have a life of its own and has to have contacts of its own within Scotland?
Here is one example. The Scottish Council (Development and Industry) does a lot of promotion for exports and so on overseas. The Scottish Tourist Board has worked with the Scottish Council on many occasions in bringing the tourist interest into its overseas promotions. I think it inconceivable that that will not happen again in the future, but the restriction in the relationship between the British Travel Association and the new Scottish Tourist Board, a restriction which is inevitable under the words of the Bill, will make it more difficult on occasion for the Scottish Tourist Board to be able to join in wholeheartedly with such activities as the Scottish Council may undertake to promote Scotland as such overseas. That is just one example.
Even if the Minister will not change his mind at this stage will he take consultations further, in view of the disquiet about this change in relationship between 1160 the Scottish Tourist Board and the British Travel Association? It is at present a happy and fruitful relationship, and under the new arrangements it could still be happy and fruitful but for the fact that it will be too restrictive in the measure of discretion allowed to the junior body of the two.
First, then, will the Minister of State tell us whether the Scottish Tourist Board approved the new proposal? Second, even if he cannot agree to our contention, will he carry consultations further before we finally part with the Bill?
§ Dr. Dickson Mabon
I am sure that the House wants to come to a decision on these important matters, and no one can complain that we have not gone over the five basic arguments inherent in the large group of Amendments and the new Clause. Perhaps my Scottish friends and those who spoke with particular reference to Amendments Nos. 24 and 26 will be patient for a minute while I deal with the other matters first.
With one exception, we have all agreed that we are arguing here about functions and the way to discharge those functions rather than about the object of the functions. There was only one dissenting speech to the effect that the whole idea was bad, and I cannot believe that that speech was made entirely seriously, though I could be wrong.
First, on the question of function, I hope that the House will forgive me if I refer to the negotiations we have had for many years on the Scottish Tourist Board. Alas, England has never had a tourist board; it has only had a function of the B.T.A. as such, which has not been a truly federal function with Scotland and Wales. I think that the hon. Member for Ayr (Mr. Younger) got it slightly wrong when he alluded to what the present Scottish Tourist Board thinks about the B.T.A. at the moment. They have had their differences in the past, and they have not always agreed about the way things have been done. However, with the new system which we are constructing, I hope that there will be a more amicable arrangement than there has been.
Now, the argument about the size of the boards. The Scottish Tourist Board tried hard in its early years to be representative of everybody. It was a huge board 1161 with over 40 members. It did not function very well. At the beginning it did—the enthusiasm was there—but over the years the very size of the board was one reason why it did not achieve as much as it might have. I exempt a number of very distinguished members of the board who worked very hard. I exempt Mr. Nicholson, who has been mentioned specifically. But he will be the first to admit, as he did three years ago, that a reformation of the board to a smaller number was better than the previous arrangement, and that was, in fact, secured in Scotland; but by a reduction of numbers from the previous size to 16, several organisations were excluded. The Scottish Tourist Board, whose annual meeting is arranged for 1st August, will roll down its voluntary flag and salute the statutory flag of the new board of the same name on the same day. It is very keen that the number should be reduced even further, to seven.
I suggest to the hon. Member for the Isle of Thanet (Mr. Rees-Davies), who made an admirable speech, that the kind of functioning he wants can be achieved only by an active executive committee of this number or perhaps slightly more—nine or so from Great Britain, because it discharges different functions. It is in relationship with three other boards, and as a corollary there must be close consultations between that active executive committee, as he called it, and a wider area. That area cannot be as small as 16, as the Amendment argues. When I met the representatives of tourism in Scotland about two weeks ago I had to meet 24 organisations—and I am sure that we missed some—and 45 people. I doubt very much whether one could deal with less than that number to be truly national, and truly to consult.
My hon. Friend the Member for South Shields (Mr. Blenkinsop) mentioned the Countryside Commission. Both Commissions have been set up in their respective countries recently. Who would deny a place to the Countryside Commission in proper consultations with the boards of the respective countries?
We do not lay down that there should be a regional pattern in Scotland exactly rehearsed in Wales or England. The three countries are quite different, as is clear from consultations. The regional associations for Scotland are essential. Those 1162 of us who know Scotland well know that there is a great difference between the Highlands and Islands, the North East, the Borders, the South West and Clydeside and Tayside. It is a small country of only 5 million people. I suspect that in England there would be many more regional organisations. They might be bigger, but of necessity England would have much more difficulty in trying to organise itself in a regional form. But these regional organisations should be entitled to access to the Board for the country concerned.
As a Scotsman, I do not accept that Scotland or Wales are regions. They are nations, and their national boards have a right to obtain access for their respective regions and themselves to the authority for Great Britain. Therefore, it is very important that we keep the numbers of the boards as they are, and it is equally important that there should be consultation machinery in the three countries. It should be flexible and, if necessary, should be different. This is essential for the working of the whole system.
I take the point that certain statutory organisations and some voluntary organisations that are national in character will need representation at the national level to consult with the board. We have tentatively agreed this in Scotland. It was a virtually unanimous agreement of the meeting to which I referred earlier that we should have a national body meeting once, twice, or perhaps three times a year in a small country like Scotland, where we should have not only national but regional representation, and that these people should have direct access to the seven men of the board. Below this organisation there should be regional organisations constituted in like manner for different parts of Scotland, sustained by the voluntary contributions not only of those in tourism but also of the local authorities and historic societies and other bodies with a great interest in the promotion of tourism.
§ Dr. Mabon
The point of argument between us is very narrow. We are suggesting that the so-called non-executive directors would meet less frequently with the board than the board meets, but at least they would be giving advice. I put it to the House that 16 is not enough for Scotland nor Wales, and I doubt whether it is enough for England, for it to be claimed as a representative body, which is what divides us in this argument. We say that if the choice is between executive and representative, then it must be executive, but we agree that on certain occasions there must be representative meetings.
I come now to the connection with overseas publicity. The Scottish Tourist Board already provides very good material for the British Travel Association, which is distributed abroad through different offices and by different methods, but in a British way. I was pleased by the remarks of the hon. Member for the Isle of Thanet about what is done in the United States by a distinguished Scotsman. There can be no argument on that score. We simply say that we should recognise that the B.T.A. is a vehicle for putting across the respective merits not only of the British but of the Scottish Tourist Board and the Wales Tourist Board as well.
In this context, I point out that there is no reference in the Opposition Amendment to the English Tourist Board. Somehow, it is apparently not to be given this merit of promoting the interests of England. But surely it is logical that the B.T.A. would want to take the part of England as well as the English Tourist Board and seek to represent them overseas.
It would be wrong to have duplication of offices and personnel in different countries all over the world working for the three boards. Equally, it would be wrong to imagine that the B.T.A. should be solely responsible for the printing and preparation of material in respect of Scotland, England and Wales. I give the assurance that the authority will seek to take material from the respective boards and put them over abroad.
§ Mr. Blaker
After the Minister of State's speech, I see the point of what my hon. Friend the Member for Ayr (Mr. Younger) said in describing the 1164 characteristic S.E.T. speech—the knockabout speech that my Scottish hon. Friends are used to hearing. The debate has shown what a pity it was that the Government framed Amendment No. 24 in the way they did. It has shown how difficult it has been to get a clear presentation of the arguments for and against subsection (3) of Clause 2. It would, perhaps, be wrong to speculate on why the Government framed their Amendment in that way, but it has certainly had the result of clouding the issue, and no doubt the Scottish people will take note.
The Minister of State read some representations from a document he had received from the B.T.A. I take it that, having established that precedent, he will be reading all the representations he gets or has got from the Association. It is a little late to ask him to read the ones he got about S.E.T., but it is a pity that he did not read them. In future debates we shall expect him to read everything he has got.
There are many things in the Bill which the B.T.A. is not happy about. We are not necessarily convinced that because the association takes a certain view that must be conclusive, but we considered its views on this matter and decided on balance that the proper course was to promote our Amendment dealing with subsection (3). There are different points of view on this matter.
Subsection (3) does not remove from the new B.T.A. the responsibility for overseas promotion; it merely affects the manner in which that promotion is conducted. As my hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, West (Mr. Stodart) said, this is not a separatist subsection. It does not say that the Scots and the Welsh can dictate to the B.T.A. exactly how to conduct its overseas promotion. It is a matter of emphasis, and in putting it forward we believed that it was valid on strictly commercial grounds. We believe that to sell Scotland and Wales as Scotland and Wales will lead to better results, not simply for Scotland and Wales, but for Britain as a whole, in terms of bringing more tourists to Scotland and Wales who will come on to England.
I am sorry that the Minister of State did not give the House a better indication of the nature of the people who 1165 will be appointed to the board, how the chairman will be selected and whether or not he will have business experience and experience in the travel industry. Since we are talking about the views of the British Travel Association, perhaps the House would like to hear its views on this. The British Travel Association is dead scared that the board may consist simply of do-gooders. The B.T.A. believes that the board should consist of people with commercial experience who will run it as a commercial enterprise, and that is a view which I share; but we have heard nothing to that effect from the Minister.
The Minister, perhaps rather tactlessly, referred to an inner cabinet. Inner cabinets have disadvantages in politics, as we have seen, but an inner cabinet is a well recognised feature of the commercial world, and many successful large companies have a central executive body and, outside that, a board consisting of part time members very much on the pattern we have suggested.
I am glad that the Minister emphasised the importance of voluntary tourist associations, with which we entirely agree, as we do about the importance of consultation. I was entirely unconvinced by what the Minister said about new Clause 4. He said that a formal structure was not required and that we should not tie the hands of the new tourist boards.
§ Those are exactly the sentiments which motivated my right hon. and hon. Friends and myself in framing the new Clause, which lays down guidelines to the boards without fettering their hands and allows them discretion in establishing a committee system.
§ My hon. Friend the Member for the Isle of Thanet (Mr. Rees-Davies) put tellingly the cardinal point at the centre of the debate about consultation, the committee system and the composition of the boards, that one cannot tell the many organisations concerned in tourism what to do. Results can be achieved only by persuading them to work in co-operation. This is the point above all others which we wished to bring out in the debate and on which we have had little reassurance from the Government.
§ I said in opening that I hoped that the industry, instead of asking what the boards will do to it, could be persuaded to ask a different question, what can it do in co-operation with the boards. I am sorry that the Minister has been able to give us so little reassurance in answer to that question.
§ Question put, That the Clause be read a Second time:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 140; Noes 179.1167
|Division No. 282.]||AYES||[12.7 a.m.|
|Alison, Michael (Barkston Ash)||Emery, Peter||Jennings, J. C. (Burton)|
|Allason, James (Hemel Hempstead)||Farr, John||Jopling, Michael|
|Astor, John||Fletcher-Cooke, Charles||Joseph, Rt. Hn. Sir Keith|
|Baker, Kenneth (Acton)||Fortescue, Tim||Kaberry, Sir Donald|
|Baker, W. H. K. (Banff)||Foster, Sir John||Kirk, Peter|
|Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torquay)||Gibson-Watt, David||Kitson, Timothy|
|Biffen, John||Gilmour, Sir John (Fife, E.)||Knight, Mrs. Jill|
|Biggs-Davison, John||Glover, Sir Douglas||Lambton, Viscount|
|Blaker, Peter||Goodhart, Philip||Lane, David|
|Boardman, Tom (Leicester, S. W.)||Gower, Raymond||Longden, Gilbert|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hn. John||Grant, Anthony||Lubbock, Eric|
|Braine, Bernard||Grant-Ferris, Sir Robert||Maclean, Sir Fitzroy|
|Brewis, John||Grieve, Percy||McNair-Wilson, Michael|
|Buck, Antony (Colchester)||Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St. Edmunds)||McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)|
|Campbell, B. (Oldnam, W.)||Grimond, Rt. Hn. J.||Maddan, Martin|
|Chataway, Christopher||Gurden, Harold||Maginnis, John E.|
|Chichester-Clark, R.||Hall, John (Wycombe)||Maude, Angus|
|Clark, Henry||Hall-Davis, A. G. F.||Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J.|
|Cooper-Key, Sir Neill||Harris, Reader (Heston)||Miscampbell, Norman|
|Corfield, F. V.||Hawkins, Paul||Monro, Hector|
|Costain, A. P.||Heald, Rt. Hn. Sir Lionel||Montgomery, Fergus|
|Cunningham, Sir Knox||Higgins, Terence L.||More, Jasper|
|Currie, G. B. H.||Hiley, Joseph||Morgan, Geraint (Denbigh)|
|Dance, James||Hill, J. E. B.||Munro-Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh|
|d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry||Holland, Philip||Nabarro, Sir Gerald|
|Dean, Paul||Hooson, Emlyn||Noble, Rt. Hn. Michael|
|Digby, Simon Wingfield||Howell, David (Guildford)||Nott, John|
|Dodds-Parker, Douglas||Hunt, John||Osborn, John (Hallam)|
|Eden, Sir John||Hutchison, Michael Clark||Page, Graham (Crosby)|
|Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton)||Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye)||Pardoe, John|
|Elliott, R. W. (N'c'tle-upon-Tyne, N.)||Jenkin, Patrick (Woodford)||Pearson, Sir Frank (Clitheroe)|
|Peel, John||Sharples, Richard||Waddington, David|
|Percival, Ian||Shaw, Michael (Sc'b'gh & Whitby)||Wainwright, Richard (Colne Valley)|
|Peyton, John||Silvester, Frederick||Walker-Smith, Rt. Hn. Sir Derek|
|Pike, Miss Mervyn||Sinclair, Sir George||Walters, Dennis|
|Pounder, Rafton||Smith, John (London & W'minster)||Ward, Dame Irene|
|Powell, Rt. Hn. J. Enoch||Speed, Keith||Weatherill, Bernard|
|Price, David (Eastleigh)||Steel, David (Roxburgh)||Whitelaw, Rt. Hn. William|
|Pym, Francis||Stodart, Anthony||Wiggin, A. W.|
|Ramsden, Rt. Hn. James||Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir M.||Williams, Donald (Dudley)|
|Rees-Davies, W. R.||Summers, Sir Spencer||Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)|
|Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon||Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)||Winstanley, Dr. M. P.|
|Ridley, Hn. Nicholas||Taylor, Frank (Moss Side)||Wylie, N. R.|
|Ridsdale, Julian||Temple, John M.||Younger, Hn. George|
|Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)||Thorpe, Rt. Hn. Jeremy|
|Royle, Anthony||Turton, Rt. Hn. R. H.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES:|
|Russell, Sir Ronald||van Straubenzee, W. R.||Mr. Reginald Eyre and|
|Scott, Nicholas||Vickers, Dame Joan||Mr. Humphrey Atkins.|
|Abse, Leo||Hamilton, James (Bothwell)||Murray, Albert|
|Albu, Austen||Hamilton, William (Fife, W.)||Neal, Harold|
|Alldritt, Walter||Hamling, William||Newens, Stan|
|Atkinson, Norman (Tottenham)||Hannan, William||Norwood, Christopher|
|Bacon, Rt. Hn. Alice||Harper, Joseph||Oakes, Gordon|
|Bagier, Gordon A. T.||Harrison, Walter (Wakefield)||Ogden, Eric|
|Barnett, Joel||Hazell, Bert||O'Malley, Brian|
|Beaney, Alan||Heffer, Eric S.||Oram, Albert E.|
|Benn, Rt. Hn. Anthony Wedgwood||Henig, Stanley||Orme, Stanley|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Herbison, Rt. Hn. Margaret||Oswald, Thomas|
|Binns, John||Hooley, Frank||Owen, Will (Morpeth)|
|Bishop, E. S.||Howarth, Robert (Bolton, E.)||Peart, Rt. Hn. Fred|
|Blackburn, F.||Hoy, Rt. Hn. James||Pentland, Norman|
|Blenkinsop, Arthur||Huckfield, Leslie||Perry, George H. (Nottingham, S.)|
|Booth, Albert||Hunter, Adam||Price, Christopher (Perry Barr)|
|Boyden, James||Hynd, John||Probert, Arthur|
|Bradley, Tom||Irvine, Sir Arthur (Edge Hill)||Rees, Merlyn|
|Bray, Dr. Jeremy||Jackson, Colin (B'h'se & Spenb'gh)||Roberts, Albert (Normanton)|
|Buchan, Norman||Johnson, James (K'ston-on-Hull, W.)||Roberts, Gwilym (Bedfordshire, S.)|
|Buchanan, Richard (G'gow, Sp'burn)||Jones, Rt. Hn. Sir Elwyn (W. Ham, S.)||Robertson, John (Paisley)|
|Butler, Mrs. Joyce (Wood Green)||Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham)||Rodgers, William (Stockton)|
|Callaghan, Rt. Hn. James||Jones, T. Alec (Rhondda, West)||Roebuck, Roy|
|Cant, R. B.||Kelley, Richard||Ross, Rt. Hn. William|
|Carmichael, Neil||Kenyon, Clifford||Rowlands, E.|
|Carter-Jones, Lewis||Kerr, Russell (Feltham)||Ryan, John|
|Coe, Denis||Lawson, George||Shaw, Arnold (Ilford, S.)|
|Coleman, Donald||Leadbitter, Ted||Shore, Rt. Hn. Peter (Stepney)|
|Concannon, J. D.|
|Conlan, Bernard||Lestor, Miss Joan||Short, Mrs. Renée (W'hampton, N. E.)|
|Crosland, Rt. Hn. Anthony||Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)||Silkin, Rt. Hn. John (Deptford)|
|Dalyell, Tam||Lomas, Kenneth||Silkin, Hn. S. C. (Dulwich)|
|Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.)||Loughlin, Charles||Small, William|
|Davies, Dr. Ernest (Stretford)||Luard, Evan||Spriggs, Leslie|
|Davies, Rt. Hn. Harold (Leek)||Lyon, Alexander W. (York)||Summerskill, Hn. Dr. Shirley|
|de Freitas, Rt. Hn. Sir Geoffrey||Lyons, Edward (Bradford, E.)||Taverne, Dick|
|Delargy, Hugh||Mabon, Dr. J. Dickson||Thornton, Ernest|
|Dempsey, James||McBride, Neil||Tinn, James|
|Dewar, Donald||McCann, John||Tuck, Raphael|
|Diamond, Rt. Hn. John||MacColl, James||Urwin, T. W.|
|Dickens, James||Macdonald, A. H.||Varley, Eric G.|
|Dobson, Ray||McGuire, Michael||Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)|
|Driberg, Tom||McKay, Mrs. Margaret||Walker, Harold (Doncaster)|
|Dunn, James A.||Mackenzie, Gregor (Rutherglen)||Wallace, George|
|Dunwoody, Mrs. Gwyneth (Exeter)||Mackie, John||Watkins, David (Consett)|
|Dunwoody, Dr. John (F'th & C'b'e)||Maclennan, Robert||Wellbeloved, James|
|Eadie, Alex||McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, C.)||Wells, William (Walsall, N.)|
|Edwards, William (Merioneth)||McNamara, J. Kevin||White, Mrs. Eirene|
|Ellis, John||MacPherson, Malcolm||Whitlock, William|
|Ennals, David||Manuel, Archie||Wilkins, W. A.|
|Evans, Fred (Caerphilly)||Marks, Kenneth||Williams, Alan (Swansea, W.)|
|Evans, Ioan L. (Birm'h'm, Yardley)||Marquand, David||Williams, Alan Lee (Hornchurch)|
|Fernyhough, E.||Maxwell, Robert||Williams, Clifford (Abertillery)|
|Fitch, Alan (Wigan)||Mellish, Rt. Hn. Robert||Williams, Mrs. Shirley (Hitchin)|
|Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston)||Mendelson, John||Williams, W. T. (Warrington)|
|Fletcher, Ted (Darlington)||Millan, Bruce||Willis, Rt. Hn. George|
|Foley, Maurice||Miller, Dr. M. S.||Wilson, William (Coventry, S.)|
|Fraser, John (Norwood)||Milne, Edward (Blyth)||Woof, Robert|
|Freeson, Reginald||Mitchell, R. C. (S'th'pton, Test)|
|Gardner, Tony||Moonman, Eric||TELLERS FOR THE NOES:|
|Gray, Dr. Hugh (Yarmouth)||Morgan, Elystan (Cardiganshire)||Mr. Ernest Armstrong and|
|Griffiths, Eddie (Brightside)||Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw)||Mr. Ernest Perry.|
|Griffiths, Will (Exchange)||Moyle, Roland|