HC Deb 02 February 1961 vol 633 c1169
15. Mr. Snow

asked the President of the Board of Trade from information available to him through his regional office, how many manufacturers employing less than 100 workers and producing all categories of goods are located within the Urban District Council of Rugeley, the Rural District Council of Lichfield, the City of Lichfield and the Borough of Tamworth, respectively; and how many are exporting their manufactures.

Mr. Maudling

I regret the information asked for is not available.

Mr. Snow

While that admission of ignorance was not unexpected, may I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman is aware that he grossly underestimates the export potential of small firms? Is he aware that if he would listen to business men who go into the world's markets he would begin to understand that the old structure of London confirming houses and overseas agencies is grossly irrelevant to present-day requirements?

Mr. Maudling

I am always delighted to listen to people who know what they are talking about in these matters. I am sorry that we do not have this information, but I do not believe in collecting information for the sake of collecting information.