23 FEBRUARY 1940, Page 6


THE Government has unquestionably done right in decid- ing not to withdraw the British pavilion from the New York Fair, which reopens for its second year towards the end of May. There are a dozen reasons for maintaining the exhibit and one—the cost—against it. This last is not, of course, to be disregarded. It means an expenditure of some 250,000 dollars, and the strain on the dollar-exchange is abnormally heavy. Even so the case against closing down the exhibit is clearly overwhelming. It was universally pronounced to be one of the best national features, if not actually the best, in the whole exhibition. It is associated in the minds of all Americans with the visit of the King and Queen, whose triumphal tour through New York culminated there. It is, an American friend whose judgement I reckon highly tells me, most effective British propaganda just because it is not visibly propaganda at all, and (he adds) to close it down now would unquestionably be regarded as a kind of defaitisme. We have to economise—everyone knows that—but to an expenditure of L6,000,000 a day an item of L6o,000 a year will be no fatally disastrous addition. We should have lost what is worth much more to us that L6o,000 by helping to spoil the Fair through withholding our partici- pation. France, Italy and Belgium will all be there.