§ 37. Sir Patrick Hannon
asked the Secretary to the Overseas Trade Department whether he will make a statement on the success of the hardware and engineering section of the British Industries Fair at Birmingham, in February last; the number of visitors who attended the Fair; the number of foreign countries and Dominions and Colonies of the British Empire represented; and whether any estimate has been made of the value of export orders placed during the exhibition?
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade (Dr. Burgin)
I am informed by the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, by whom the engineering and hardware section of the British Industries Fair is organised, that in their opinion the 1937 Fair was one of the most successful yet held. The number of visitors to the Birmingham section was 152,668. I regret that I cannot say precisely the number of foreign countries and Dominions and Colonies of the British Empire represented by the overseas visitors to the section in question, but the overseas visitors to the Fair as a whole came from 23 Dominions, Colonies, and Dependencies of the Empire, and 51 foreign countries. My hon. Friend will, I hope, appreciate that the number and diversity of the factors involved renders it impossible for the Chamber of Commerce to make any reliable estimate of the value of the export orders placed.
§ Sir P. Hannon
While thanking my hon. Friend for that reply, may I ask whether the Board of Trade are now satisfied that this Fair is a very important factor in the development of our overseas and inter-Imperial trade?