HC Deb 20 November 1958 vol 595 cc1305-6
16. Mr. Lipton

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many advisory boards now advise Her Majesty's Government at national level.

Mr. Simon

There are about 850 advisory bodies of a central or national character.

Mr. Lipton

With that wealth of advice available to the Government, how is it that they get into such a frightful mess? In dealing with all the problems with which they are called upon to deal, do the Government take the advice of these 850 bodies which advise them on a variety of topics?

Mr. Simon

It is partly, but not exclusively, due to the advice of these bodies that the Government's record has been such a triumphant one.

Mr. Hirst

Is my hon. and learned Friend aware that the number announced is little more than the number of Questions that we get from the hon. Member for Brixton (Mr. Lipton)—and we get too many of those?

Mr. H. Wilson

Assuming that the Cohen Council is one of the 850 bodies, would the hon. and learned Gentleman say whether the disastrous fall in production this year was due to taking the advice of the Cohen Council, or have the Government done that one on their own?

Mr. Simon

As usual, that is a loaded supplementary question from the right hon. Gentleman, and, as so often happens, it misfires. The reports of the Cohen Council have been of the greatest value to the Government in giving information to the country at large upon which it can form informed judgments.

Mr. Jay

Is Erskine May one of these 850 advisers?

Forward to