Building Contractors (Statistical Information)

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Building and Works – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 3rd December 1968.

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Photo of Mr Gordon Campbell Mr Gordon Campbell , Moray and Nairnshire 12:00 am, 3rd December 1968

asked the Minister of Public Building and Works what proposals he has for reducing the amount of statistical information required by his Department to he submitted by building contractors; and whether he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Robert Mellish Mr Robert Mellish , Bermondsey

None, Sir. The information collected by my Ministry is kept to the minimum and is barely adequate for the many purposes for which it is needed.

Photo of Mr Gordon Campbell Mr Gordon Campbell , Moray and Nairnshire

Why is it that so many figures are required from the building industry, in some cases the same figures by three different Government Departments, as is made clear in Appendix 7 of the Estimates Committee's Report?

Photo of Mr Robert Mellish Mr Robert Mellish , Bermondsey

I accept what the hon. Gentleman says, that there is duplication. The Government's statistical services are being more fully integrated so that such duplication is minimised, and the construction industry will share in this reorganisation.

Photo of Mr Michael English Mr Michael English , Nottingham West

Would not my right hon. Friend agree that the statistics produced by industry in general, including the building industry, are far fewer than those produced in many other advanced industrial nations, such as the United States of America?

Photo of Mr Robert Mellish Mr Robert Mellish , Bermondsey

I would not know. I am not qualified to talk about the posi- tion in other countries. We get a lot of information from industry. I understand that there are fears that too much is being asked of them. I say to hon. Gentlemen opposite in particular, who continually press me for more information, that the only way to get it is to ask other people for it.

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

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that industry will appreciate anything he does to cut down the amount of statistics required, particularly by co-ordinating them from other Government Departments? The more he asks for, the more inaccurate it gets.