HC Deb 10 July 1963 vol 680 c1230
21. Mr. Hannan

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the total number of statisticians employed in all the departments for which he is responsible; and how many are required to make up the full establishment of these departments.

Mr. Noble

My departmental staffs include one whole-time statistician, one part-time medical statistician and seven agricultural economists, an important part of whose work is the interpretation of statistics. There are no vacancies. In addition to these specialists, other officers collect and process statistics as part of their normal duties.

Mr. Hannan

In view of the increasing work of these departments, is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that this staff is large enough to cope with the work that is likely to arise?

Mr. Noble

I think the hon. Gentleman realises that a great deal of the statistics which we need and use for Scotland are obtained by the Board of Trade and the Ministry of Labour. If we find ourselves in difficulty because of shortage of statisticians we will correct the position, but that is not the case today.

Mr. Lawson

Will the right hon. Gentleman make sure that the statistics are accurate, since the figures he gave in opening the recent debate on Scottish industry and employment were manifestly inaccurate?