Mr David Ginsburg: asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what is the establishment and what are the qualifications of the staff of his Department employed on statistical duties in connection with general housing matters.
Mr David Ginsburg: Is the Minister aware that concern has been expressed in many quarters about the adequacy of his Department's statistics compared with the statistics of other Ministries? Will the Minister look again at the Imperial Calendar, which suggests that the staff devoted to housing is very thin on the ground?
Mr David Ginsburg: asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what is the establishment and what are the qualifications of the staff of his Department employed on intelligence and research duties in connection with general housing matters.
Mr David Ginsburg: Is not the Minister aware that the figures which he has been quoting to me refer to the purely town planning side of his activities? Concerning housing, are not the considerations that I outlined in the previous Question correct? How is it possible without good research to have an adequate housing policy for the nation?
Mr David Ginsburg: asked the Prime Minister whether he will instruct the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Minister of Power to co-operate together in producing a White Paper on the gains and losses to the national economy, both internal and external, from the operations of the oil industry.
Mr David Ginsburg: Is not that a most complacent reply? Is not the Prime Minister aware that the oil imports for 1959—the latest year for which figures are available—stood at £467 million and that exports from this country were £101 million? Is he further aware that such news as is available—there are no published figures of earnings overseas of British oil companies—is far from reassuring? Would not...
Mr David Ginsburg: I listened with very great interest to the observations of the hon. Member for Portsmouth, Langstone (Mr. Stevens), who speaks with very great conviction and expertise, but I am afraid that I cannot agree with everything he said, because the economic philosophy for which he stands is something diametrically opposed to my own beliefs. I hope he will not take it in a personal sense if I say...
Mr David Ginsburg: I am not only referring to what we have said from this side, but to what is happening in the country, and I venture to say that when the next lot of local government elections takes place or the next lot of by-elections, we shall see a very different picture.
Mr David Ginsburg: I am very grateful for that intervention from my hon. Friend. I am only a humble statistician, and my hon. Friend is an accountant, and accountants are far more accurate. In one respect, I agree that this Budget is significant, because it marks a recognition on the Government's part of the fact that the monetary weapon has failed. It also marks—does it not?—a recognition on the...
Mr David Ginsburg: The President of the Board of Trade shakes his head. He may be privy to the sort of information to which we are not privy. Some time ago I asked the Prime Minister a Question on this subject and he indicated that there were difficulties in the way of publishing the figures. I have looked at the recent White Paper, and all the signs are thoroughly unsatisfactory.
Mr David Ginsburg: I thank the right hon. Gentleman for that intervention. I hope that he will use his influence among his colleagues to ensure that we have some more facts. We are not deliberately "going" at the oil industry for emotional reasons. If it "came clean" and set out the position in a balance sheet, we would be able to take a much more intelligent view of the subject. We had no hint from the...
Mr David Ginsburg: asked the Minister of Power, in view of his responsibility for promoting economy and efficiency in the consumption of fuel and power, what consideration he has given to the effect of the recent decision in the chemical industry to undertake hydrogen production from light oils instead of from coke as is done at present.
Mr David Ginsburg: Is the Minister aware that a recent decision by Imperial Chemical Industries is likely to cost the National Coal Board a market for 600,000 tons of coal? Has the Minister had any consultation with either of these two parties, and is he, in particular, satisfied that the National Coal Board went to the limit in trying to retain this important market?
Mr David Ginsburg: asked the Minister of Power what proportion of the National Coal Board's total outlay is devoted to research and development; and what general direction he has given to the Board to increase such outlay.
Mr David Ginsburg: Is the Minister aware that this figure is ludicrously low and far lower than that obtaining in manufacturing industry? Will he have a look at the comparable figures for the chemical industry, where the proportion spent on scientific research represents 4·8 per cent. of the net output of the industry? What talks is he having with the Minister for Science on this important matter?
Mr David Ginsburg: asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how the change in the gold and dollar reserves, for the period 1st March to 31st May, 1961, compares with the changes for the similar period in 1960 and 1959, respectively and whether he will make a statement.
Mr David Ginsburg: Is not the Economic Secretary aware that this is an extremely serious decline at a time when the pound should be seasonally strong? Does it not reflect a very serious lack of foreign confidence clue to the complete failure of the Government's present export policy?
Mr David Ginsburg: asked the Prime Minister whether he or his predecessor was at any time informed by the security service that Houghton, a probable security risk, was employed at the Underwater Detection Establishment.
Mr David Ginsburg: asked the Prime Minister (1) whether he or his predecessor was at any time informed by the security service that Houghton, a probable security risk, was employed at the Underwater Detection Establishment; and (2) whether he will give an assurance that he has taken immediate action to remedy the shortcomings in the security service, commented on in the last sentence of paragraph 6 of the...
Mr David Ginsburg: Is not the Prime Minister aware that his reply still raises very big questions of Ministerial responsibility because, after all, he is the political head of the security service? Why was it that Houghton continued in employment at Portland when the security service had received some kind of report as to his lack of reliability? Why did not the security service inform the right hon. Gentleman?