HC Deb 30 June 1964 vol 697 cc1127-8
18. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many chartered accountants are employed in his Department.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

One, Sir.

Mr. Hughes

Is the fact that only one chartered accountant is employed by the Government the reason why I cannot find out the cost of the military operations in the Aden Peninsula? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I put this question to the Minister of Defence, whose arithmetic is evidently not his strong point, and I got no reply? Surely there is one chartered accountant who can help the Government to work out the cost of what is happening around Aden?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I am glad that my mathematics have been more successful than those of my right hon. Friend's Department. If we wanted more such officers we would recruit them. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will not press us to inflate establishments unnecessarily.

Sir G. Nicholson

Is it not possible that greater cross-fertilisation between administration and industry is desirable? My right hon. Friend may say that Government accounting is different from commercial accounting, but surely there is room for the one to learn from the other?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

In general, I wholly agree with my hon. Friend, and he may recall that I made a statement in the House a week or two ago which, I think, marked a significant advance in this respect.

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