HC Deb 01 March 1951 vol 484 cc2267-8
9. Mr. Redmayne

asked the President of the Board of Trade what number of forms relating to the Census of Distribution have been despatched; and what number have so far been returned as unwanted duplicates.

Mr. H. Wilson

The number of forms issued up to 1st February, 1951, is 946,955. The large number of names and addresses in the mailing list were obtained from various sources, the list contained a proportion of duplicate registrations, most of which were eliminated in time to prevent the despatch of more than one form. Subsequently, 1,400 more cases of duplication were identified and letters of apology were sent. The number of other duplicate forms returned to date is fewer than 100.

Mr. Redmayne

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that these forms were sent to the sub-depots of coal and corn merchants, who have no possible separate commercial existence? Is it not an extraordinary waste of effort in launching this census?

Mr. Wilson

It is the first time that this census has been taken. It would be surprising if there were not a few errors out of 947,000 forms, but to avoid them would have meant a greatly increased effort and staff.

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