HC Deb 17 July 1922 vol 156 cc1699-700
46. Mr. HURD

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will give the reason why, since the beginning of this year, the weight of the import and export trade of this country has not been published, either in the "Board of Trade Journal" or in the monthly bulletin of statistics issued by the League of Nations, and whether, in view of the importance of these weight figures as a means of estimating our own progress and of comparing it with that of other countries, he will renew their publication?


The calculation of the estimates for aggregate weight for imports and exports involved an amount of clerical labour which, in view of the urgent need for economy in public expenditure, was not considered to be justified. A statement is published quarterly in the "Board of Trade Journal" of the value of imports and exports on the basis of 1913 prices which affords a better measure of our progress, and I do not propose to resume the calculation of aggregate weights.


Will the right hon. Gentleman consider whether the international aspect of the value is not largely destroyed by the calculation?


Before the right hon. Gentleman answers that question, may I ask, is he not aware that quantity is of far greater importance in dealing with import figures?


I do not minimise the importance, but it does take a great deal of labour to get out these figures. With regard to the question of the hon. Member for Frome (Mr. Hurd). I do not think the international value is much affected, because none of the English-speaking countries give these figures.