Do not these figures, issued by the Advertising Association, show that expenditure has practically doubled since 1948? Does the hon. and learned Gentleman not consider that this is a wasteful use of our resources? Furthermore, is he aware that in 1948 Sir Stafford Cripps, in effect, dropped his proposals to tax advertising on receiving an assurance from industry that expenditure on advertising would be kept down to a reasonable limit?
The right hon. Gentleman will appreciate that his Question asked only for statistical information. On the merits, I think there is no general agreement among economists on this matter, but I do not think it would be advisable to discuss that in Question and answer now.
Is my hon. and learned Friend aware that this expenditure is less than 2 per cent. of the national income and that quite a proportion of it is contributed by the co-operative societies?
I was careful not to speculate at all on these controversial subjects, but my hon. Friend is quite right that it is a small proportion of the national product that is represented. As regards the difference between the two years, more goods are now being advertised.
In answer to a purely statistical question I do not propose to debate a matter which is the subject of dispute among economists, as the right hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well.