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No visit had been made to Canada and the United States since that of the Director in 1947, after the formation of the Joint Fire Research Organization. Although liaison had been maintained by an interchange of reports, and by the receiving of visitors from time to time, it was felt that a second visit should be made to the laboratories in North America to see what progress had been made in the intervening six years. Early in 1953, the National Bureau of Standards had been asked to co-operate with the Joint Fire Research Organization in the fire testing of prestressed concrete beams, and this they willingly agreed to do. In June, 1953, they suggested that a member of the Joint Fire Research Organization should spend a month in Washington assisting with the tests and discussing with the staff matters of mutual research interest. This was followed by an invitation from the Building Division of the National Research Council in Ottawa, for a representative to attend the opening of their new Building Research Station, and to have discussions with the staff of the Fire Protection Section on their research programme. Quite apart from these considerations there were indications, from various publications, of differences of opinion between the Joint Fire Research Organization and some United States laboratories, and it was desirable to seize the first opportunity of first hand discussion.