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British Industries (Exhibitions)

Volume 409: debated on Tuesday 10 April 1945

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asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether it is intended to hold a British Industries Fair in 1946 and if consideration will be given to organising the pottery section exhibits at Trentham and cotton at Blackpool; and if he will make a full statement on the proposals for exhibiting British manufactured goods throughout the world after the war and on the organisation of suitable industry and trade films to be shown throughout the world.

As my predecessor announced, advice is being sought from the British Industries Fair Exhibitors' Advisory Committee as to the earliest date at which it will be practicable and desirable to hold the next fair. There are many difficult problems which must limit the effectiveness of any fair held at a short interval after the end of the European war. The importance of an early decision regarding a fair in 1946 is fully appreciated and I hope this may be forthcoming in the near future.

Distinction must be drawn between a National Fair on the lines of the British Industries Fair, which it is intended shall increasingly seek to attract overseas buyers, and a series of fairs representative of individual industries. There is a considerable volume of experienced opinion which holds the view that the use of a number of different centres reduces the appeal of a National Fair. It is my intention to discuss with individual industries their policy for exhibitions, both at home and abroad, or other methods to bring their goods to the attention of potential overseas buyers.

As regards the final part of the Question, my Department will use every opportunity to encourage industries and firms to arrange for the production of industrial films and to assist in securing their display abroad.

Does the hon. Gentleman agree that Leipzig, Paris and Lyons were centres of trade attraction before the war and is it the policy of the Overseas Trade Department to take the initiative in order to see that some place in this country is made the centre of a European trade exhibition?

The policy of the Department is to give full weight to those who have experience of exhibiting in the past and to any other considerations which will make for the success of the British Industries Fair.