§ 30. Mr. SMITHERS
asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department if he will state what was the cost to the nation of the British trade mission to South Africa; whether any, and, if so, what, recommendations in the report have been given effect to; and whether any benefit to trade accrued from this mission?
§ Mr. GILLETT
The cost to the nation of the United Kingdom Trade Mission in question was £2,920 5s. 11d. As regards the mission's first recommendation, I have presided at a number of meetings addressed by Lord Kirkley and other members of the mission upon this, and other, aspects of their investigations. These meetings were convened by representative business bodies, and were held in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle, Leicester and Bristol. Other meetings have also been addressed by Lord Kirkley and his colleagues. It is known that certain firms have, as a result, reconstructed their sales organisation and other steps have been taken designed to achieve increased exports. An important exhibition of samples of textiles brought back by the mission was held in Manchester and 1651 aroused much interest. Whilst it has not yet been possible to give effect to the other recommendations, His Majesty's Government have them still under careful consideration.
§ Mr. HANNON
Is it not a fact that the work accomplished by this mission has been of very great value to British trade in South Africa?