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Mr Goossens (Cancelled Tour)

Volume 486: debated on Monday 16 April 1951

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he is aware that in August, 1950, the British Council invited Mr. Léon Goossens, the oboeist, to tour Greece during the end of March and the first half of April, 1951, on their behalf; that on 23rd February, 1951, this tour was cancelled on the telephone without any proper explanation, written confirmation being given on 5th March; what is the explanation for this breach of contract on the part of the British Council; what compensation will be paid to Mr. Goossens; who else has been so treated; and whether he is aware of the disappointment and resentment in Greece that this tour should have been cancelled at short notice.

The cuts in expenditure for this financial year which are considered necessary compelled the British Council in February to make all possible economies in their future commitments until plans could be made to meet the new situation.Mr. Goossens' tour was one of the items which the Council, with great regret, felt obliged to cancel. Mr. Goossens was informed by telephone in order to give him the earliest possible notice. On 26th February Mr. Goossens interviewed one of the Council's officers at their headquarters and the reasons for the cancellation of the tour were fully explained to him. It is regretted that he received no written confirmation of the cancellation until 5th March. Mr. Goossens has not formulated any claim for compensation.No other individual tour of this nature has yet had to be cancelled. I much regret any disappointment which the cancellation of this tour may have caused in Greece.