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Overseas Visitors (Tours)

Volume 644: debated on Monday 10 July 1961

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asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many tours for visitors from Commonwealth countries, respectively were arranged by the Central Office of Information during the last twelve months; and how many of these included visits to Tees-side.

For parties of Commonwealth and colonial visitors, 101 tours, and of foreign visitors, 218. Five tours included visits to Tees-side.

While I welcome the remarkable increase in the number of these tours arranged by the Central Office of Information, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman if he would not agree that a proportion of 5 per cent. is a very low one for so important an industrial area as Tees-side? Will he ask the C.O.I., when arranging such tours, to remember that the North-East Coast includes, besides the great rivers Tyne and Wear, the very important River Tees?

Had the right hon. Gentleman put that question in relation to the north-east area, the answer would have been 26 tours.

Even so, is the right hon. Gentleman aware that that represents a very small proportion when one bears in mind that the North-East Coast is the most important part of this country?

The question related to C.O.I. tours, which do not include Board of Trade tours or tours by Service Departments. We should have to add all these together to give the whole picture. There are some 7,000 visitors to this country under British Council arrangements, including many visiting the North-East.

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether there have been expressions of appreciation from visitors to Tees-side? Have they not been pleased with the warmth of their welcome?

I cannot, without research, find out what expressions of appreciation there have been about Tees-side.