Oral Answers to Questions — Business Firms (Questionnaires)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st March 1966.

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Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Walter Bromley-Davenport Lieut-Colonel Sir Walter Bromley-Davenport , Knutsford 12:00 am, 1st March 1966

asked the Prime Minister if he is aware of the number of questionnaires which are being sent by Departments to business firms inviting them to fill them in, and that in one case this form filling occupied two clerks for a week; whether he is satisfied that such form filling is necessary, having regard to the time involved for firms and for civil servants in analysing the forms, in view of present labour shortages; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

I am aware that industry in general is being very co-operative in providing information essential to the proper conduct of the nation's business. As to the particular case mentioned by the hon. Member, if he would care to send me details I will have them looked into.

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Sir Walter Bromley-Davenport Lieut-Colonel Sir Walter Bromley-Davenport , Knutsford

Is the Prime Minister aware that digging up all this information and filling up all these forms is a very expensive operation? Under the circumstances, would Her Majesty's Government—[Interruption.] Hon. Members will make me forget what I was going to say. As this is such an expensive business, would Her Majesty's Government consider paying for this operation, which is costing industry rather a lot of money, especially as some cannot afford it?

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

I had some difficulty in hearing the hon. and gallant Gentleman. He referred three times to "this information", but he has not told the House what it is. I invite him to let me know which information he is talking about, and I will look into it.

Photo of Sir Arthur Harvey Sir Arthur Harvey , Macclesfield

On a point of order. I distinctly heard an hon. Member opposite refer to the constituents of my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Knutsford (Sir W. Bromley-Davenport) as "digging him up"—

Photo of Dr Horace King Dr Horace King , Southampton, Itchen

Order. The Chair deprecates the calling to the attention of the Chair by hon. Members of random remarks which the Chair is fortunate enough not to have heard.