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Lisbon Fair

Volume 526: debated on Thursday 8 April 1954

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asked the President of the Board of Trade whether, in view of the failure to stage a British trade fair in Lisbon, he will make a statement on the steps to be taken to prevent the financial burdens of such projects abroad falling entirely upon a few private firms and individuals.

The decision not to hold the Lisbon Trade Fair was taken not because the firms concerned objected to the expense, but because it seemed unlikely that the Fair would be a success. It is usual for expenses to be covered by receipts, so the second part of the Question does not arise.

Does the right hon. Gentleman not take the view that these trade fairs play an important part in building up British exports and prestige? Does it not seem a pity, for the sake of £8,000, not to hold this fair, which, in the face of growing German competition, might well have made a useful contribution to our export markets?

I certainly agree that fairs can play a useful part in the promotion of our exports. We have to be guided by industrial advice, and particularly the advice of local businessmen on the spot, as we were on this occasion.