British Industries Fair.

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce. – in the House of Commons on 18th April 1932.

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Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

29.

asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department if he can state the accumulated deficit in respect of the British Industries Fair to 31st March, 1932, or to the latest available date; and what have been the total grants to the same date in respect of publicity?

Photo of Mr John Colville Mr John Colville , Midlothian and Peeblesshire Northern

It is estimated that the accumulated net deficit for the period of 18 years from 1915–1932 inclusive will amount to about £21,000. It should be borne in mind, however, that losses attributable to the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1924 and the Cotton Textile Exhibition at the White City in 1931 amounted to more than £22,000. It will thus be evident that without these two items there would have been a net gain. The total grants in respect of publicity to 31st March, 1932, amount to approximately £166,000.

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

Is it not a fact that there has been a total loss of £187,000 on this exhibition compared with what might have been the case if it had been run on commercial lines?

Photo of Mr John Colville Mr John Colville , Midlothian and Peeblesshire Northern

There are two particular items over which my Department has not direct control, making a total of £22,000 in amount.

Photo of Mr William Mabane Mr William Mabane , Huddersfield

Could the hon. Gentleman say whether the exhibition made a profit or a loss in the current year?

Photo of Mr John Colville Mr John Colville , Midlothian and Peeblesshire Northern

It is anticipated that when the accounts are completed they will show a profit for this year.

Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

30.

asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department if he can state the method whereby the proposed publicity levy in connection with the British Industries Fair will be made?

Photo of Mr John Colville Mr John Colville , Midlothian and Peeblesshire Northern

The question of the provision of money to defray the cost of publicity for the British Industries Fair of 1933 is receiving consideration, and I hope to be able to make a statement on the subject shortly.

Photo of Sir William Anstruther-Gray Sir William Anstruther-Gray , Lanarkshire Northern

32.

asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether any section of the British Industries Fair has ever been held in Scotland; and whether he will consider the advisability of making inquiries as to the practicability of holding a section of this fair on Scottish soil in future years?

Photo of Mr John Colville Mr John Colville , Midlothian and Peeblesshire Northern

A section of the British Industries Fair was organised in Glasgow by the municipality of that city in 1917, 1918, 1920 and 1921. Following a strong recommendation in favour of centralisation of the Fair, made in 1921 by a committee appointed by the Board of Trade, under the chairmanship of the late Sir Frank Warner, the Glasgow section was discontinued, and this had the approval of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce who shared the view held by the majority of the bodies consulted that the aim should be the greatest concentration of overseas buyers in one place. In view of the recommendation in question and of the recent report of the committee under the chairmanship of Lord Chelmsford, I doubt the wisdom of any policy of decentralisation.

Photo of Sir William Anstruther-Gray Sir William Anstruther-Gray , Lanarkshire Northern

Does that objection apply to a Scottish national industrial exhibition held in Scotland?

Photo of Mr John Colville Mr John Colville , Midlothian and Peeblesshire Northern

No, Sir. I think such an exhibition might do a lot of good. It should be held at a different date from the fair in London. I should be interested to hear further suggestions on the proposal.