HC Deb 08 April 1965 vol 710 cc666-7
Q8. Mr. Higgins

asked the Prime Minister which Government Department will be responsible for supplying the statistical information for the implementation of the Government's income policy.

Mr. George Brown

The Department of Economic Affairs, Sir.

Mr. Higgins

Would I be wrong in thinking that all the essential information required to verify whether the incomes policy is successful or not would normally be provided by the Ministry of Labour? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, on 23rd February, the Minister of Labour suggested that he could not provide much of this essential information?

Mr. Brown

I answered the Question on the Order Paper. If the hon. Gentleman puts down another one, I will look at that.

Mr. Biffen

Will the right hon. Gentleman convey to the Prime Minister that the First Secretary of State displays a most good-natured indifference to the necessity of having first-class statistical information? Will he also convey to the Prime Minister the fact that that impression was more than underlined by the way in which the First Secretary of State answered his questions earlier today?

Mr. Brown

It would be very dangerous for the Deputy Prime Minister to convey that to the Prime Minister. The hon. Gentleman must do it himself.

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

Will the right hon. Gentleman reply to the Question? What steps is he taking to ensure that there is no overlapping and duplication in the collection of statistics?

Mr. Brown

There is no overlapping at all. These statistics are centralised. Departments consult each other and use common services. That is why I said that I had answered the Question in the terms in which it was put down. The Department of Economic Affairs is the co-ordinating Department in these matters.

Mr. Sandys

On a point of order. The First Secretary referred to himself as the Deputy Prime Minister. Is he in fact Deputy Prime Minister?

Mr. Speaker

I do not think that it raises a point of order, but it is a matter of fairly general knowledge.