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Ancient Monuments

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Works – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 26th March 1957.

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Photo of Sir Eric Fletcher Sir Eric Fletcher , Islington East 12:00 am, 26th March 1957

asked the Minister of Works what steps his Department takes to make known the ancient monuments under his care to visitors to this country from overseas.

Photo of Mr Arthur Molson Mr Arthur Molson , High Peak

Ancient monuments figure in much of the publicity directed towards tourists. Leaflets and posters about ancient monuments are distributed through the British Travel and Holidays Association and by travel agencies and shipping and air transport companies. Photographs and particulars of many monuments are widely used abroad by the British Travel and Holidays Association and by travel agencies.

Photo of Sir Eric Fletcher Sir Eric Fletcher , Islington East

Does that reply mean that the Minister is aware that if these monuments are adequately publicised there is a very good opportunity of increasing the dollar revenue of this country because of the interest which foreign visitors take in these subjects?

Photo of Mr Arthur Molson Mr Arthur Molson , High Peak

Undoubtedly our very interesting past is one of the attractions of these islands, and we try to bring it to the attention of people who are considering visiting us. At the same time, I am bound to say that ancient monuments, although a tourist attraction, are not in themselves a great source of income from tourists.

Photo of Mr Anthony Greenwood Mr Anthony Greenwood , Rossendale

Is the Minister aware that although the material contained in these leaflets prepared by the Inspector of Ancient Monuments is admirable, there is, nevertheless, a feeling that the way in which it is presented could be greatly improved. Would he consider discussing with the Central Office of Information and the Stationery Office possible methods of improving the publications which are issued?

Photo of Mr Arthur Molson Mr Arthur Molson , High Peak

I know that a large number of our publications arc of a somewhat scholarly flavour, but we do all we can to encourage the British Travel and Holidays Association, which is less scholarly in its outlook, to give a more popular presentation of our monuments.

Photo of Sir Godfrey Nicholson Sir Godfrey Nicholson , Farnham

Will my right hon. Friend do his best to avoid the dangers of over-restoration? If he is to put everything back to where it was before, he will find himself in an awful mess.

Photo of Mr Arthur Molson Mr Arthur Molson , High Peak

I think that was a supplementary question to Question No. 27 and not to the Question which I am answering.