National Plan

Oral Answers to Questions — Economic Affairs – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th November 1966.

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Mr. Bitten:

asked the First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs by what method the statistical data of the revised National Plan will be collected and evaluated; and when the plan will be published.

Photo of Mr Michael Maitland Stewart Mr Michael Maitland Stewart , Fulham

I have at present nothing to add to the Answer I gave on 10th November to my hon. Friend the Member for Bebington (Mr. Brooks).—[Vol. 735; c. 341–2.]

Photo of Mr John Biffen Mr John Biffen , Oswestry

But would not the First Secretary agree that experience indicates that the preparation of the National Plan is a time-consuming and not obviously successful enterprise, and would the Government, therefore, think long and hard before embarking on any such further plans?

Photo of Mr Michael Maitland Stewart Mr Michael Maitland Stewart , Fulham

When the hon. Gentleman asks that question he shows himself to be very much out of touch with opinion in industry. It was made clear at the last meeting of the National Economic Development Council that the members firmly believed in the principle of planning, and it is after consultations with the N.E.D.C. that we shall be able to decide how to proceed from now on.

Photo of Mr Iain Macleod Mr Iain Macleod , Enfield West

Can the right hon. Gentleman yet tell us, however, whether he intends to proceed once more by the questionnaire method when the time comes to produce a new version?

Photo of Mr Michael Maitland Stewart Mr Michael Maitland Stewart , Fulham

That is one of the things on which I want discussions in the N.E.D.C.