HC Deb 28 July 1904 vol 138 cc1449-50
MR. ERNEST GRAY (West Ham, N.)

To ask the President of the Board of Trade whether it is the practice of the specification branch of the Statistical Department of the Customs to systematically leave a percentage of the ships' files unchecked, thereby affecting the accuracy of Trade Returns; if so, whether this practice has prevailed for a considerable time; and, if so, if he will cause inquiry to be made with a view to providing the public with information on trade matters which shall not be open to dispute.

(Answered by Mr. Victor Cavendish.) It has been the practice for the last twenty years to leave a small percentage of the ships' export files unchecked. It is not deemed necessary to check every file, and the number checked is considered sufficient to ensure the substantial ac curacy of the Trade Returns. It is not proposed to alter the present practice.