HC Deb 24 July 1924 vol 176 cc1534-5W
Colonel MORDEN

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether he is aware that, by a Clause in the agreement governing all contracts to be let by the British Empire Exhibition, inserted at the instance of the High Commissioners for the Dominions, it is specifically laid down that Empire material shall always be used, exceptions only to be made by the permission of the High Commissioners; that, in contravention of this agreement, 50,000 square feet of Baltic timber is being used for the scenery of a pageant of Empire; and, in view of the Canadian feeling over the repeated breaches of faith that have been made with the Dominion with regard to the use of Empire products at Wembley and of the fact that the High Commissioner for Canada has received permission from the Canadian Prime Minister to close the Canadian pavilion as a protest if he thinks fit, will he take steps to prevent similar transactions taking place in the future?


I am aware that in the case of the Exhibition buildings the British Empire Exhibition authorities are bound by an arrangement of the character indicated by the hon. and gallant Member. Had circumstances permitted, His Majesty's Government, who are responsible for the organisation of the Pageant of Empire, would gladly have stipulated for the use of Empire-grown timber in the construction of the scenery for the Pageant, but, owing to the shortness of the time available for the preparation of the scenery, it was impossible to include any such condition in the contract. As regards the last part of the question, I have no evidence to show that the arrangement made by the British Empire Exhibition authorities has not been observed, nor any reason to suppose that any departure from it is contemplated.

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