HC Deb 12 February 1963 vol 671 cc1096-7
7. Dr. Bray

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to speed up the publication of the Census of Production, Input Output tables, and the National Income and Expenditure blue book in view of increasing public interest and the availability of the technical means for rapid data processing.

Mr. Barber

A larger computer has been ordered which is expected to speed up the preparation both of the results of the Census of Production and of the Input Output tables. The National Income and Expenditure Blue Book is built up from data drawn from a very wide variety of sources, some of which cannot be speeded up very much without loss of accuracy, but I would remind the hon. Member that preliminary figures for the main tables are already available in the White Paper published at the end of March each year.

Dr. Bray

Is the Financial Secretary aware that it is necessary to give as well as to receive in the matter of information? If the Treasury took more active steps to spread the understanding and use of Government statistics in industry, it would get its returns back a great deal quicker and so be able to make them more useful to the Government and to the public.

Mr. Barber

I entirely agree with the hon. Gentleman that it is most important to obtain this information as quickly as is humanly and mechanically possible, because the more up to date it is the more valuable it is. The date on which the information is available is governed mainly by the speed at which returns from individual firms are received, but I agree with the general intention behind the hon. Gentleman's Question.