HC Deb 28 April 1910 vol 17 cc634-5

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether the first and second Fiscal Blue Books were signed by the Comptroller-General of the Statistical Department, and countersigned by the Secretary and President of the Board of Trade; whether this is the usual practice of the Board of Trade in connection with documents of this character; and whether the abandonment of this practice in the third Fiscal Blue Book (Cd. 4954) is to be regarded as indicating that these officials have not assumed the same personal responsibility for its contents as for its predecessors?


The signatures attached to the earlier volumes mentioned in the question are not correctly specified, but the point is immaterial. There is absolutely no foundation for the suggestion conveyed in the last part of the question. There has been hitherto no fixed practice in the Board of Trade as regards the signatures attached to documents presented by them to Parliament, but, generally speaking, Blue Books containing reports and memoranda, have been more fully signed than those merely consisting of tabular matter, and it has been not uncommon to publish the latter kind of Return without any signature, especially if issued in continuation of previous publications. The Board of Trade take full responsibility for the publication of their official documents.