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Exports (Exhibition Ships)

Volume 721: debated on Thursday 25 November 1965

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35.

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will seek power to purchase the "Mauretania" or some similar vessel for conversion into a floating exhibition for British exports.

No, Sir. Having regard to the heavy cost and other disadvantages of exhibition ships, I see no reason to question the preference which British industry has shown for conventional trade fairs.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this Question was prompted by the great success of the London Fashion House show on the "Queen Elizabeth" in New York recently? If the cost of this sort of suggested exhibition is prohibitive, will the hon. Gentleman consider, as a compromise, whether similar shows by the London Fashion House can be arranged on ships visiting important ports throughout the world, and whether they could also be used for more serious exhibitions?

That is an entirely different question from the Question on the Order Paper. These exhibitions are different from a full-scale trade exhibition. There may be something in what the hon. Gentleman is suggesting, and we will consider it.