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Industry (Questionnaires)

Oral Answers to Questions — Board of Trade – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th March 1968.

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Photo of Sir Albert Costain Sir Albert Costain , Folkestone and Hythe 12:00 am, 13th March 1968

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many new types of questionnaire have been issued by his Department to industry since October, 1964; and what is the total number of questions asked on these forms.

Photo of Mr George Darling Mr George Darling , Sheffield, Hillsborough

Forty-eight and 642 respectively.

Photo of Sir Albert Costain Sir Albert Costain , Folkestone and Hythe

Would the right hon. Gentleman recognise that filling in forms is not the way to help our economy? Does he realise that I am putting a series of Questions to Government Departments to ascertain which one requires the greatest number of forms to be completed? The right hon. Gentleman's Department does not hold the record and win my wooden spoon; the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Department is winning at the moment.

Photo of Mr George Darling Mr George Darling , Sheffield, Hillsborough

The hon. Gentleman is off the beam, as usual. The Board of Trade does not ask industry to supply a lot of useless information. For instance, 17 of the questionnaires to which I have referred are for investment grant applications. Instead of sending out one comprehensive form for all industries, we have one fairly simple form for each industry or group of similar industries. The same applies to the production statistics. Instead of having one enormous questionnaire, we have 16 fairly simple ones, each for a particular industry. This makes everybody's task much easier.