HC Deb 09 August 1966 vol 733 c1380
25. Sir H. Legge-Bourke

asked the Minister of Technology whether he will make a statement on the changes in the arrangements for procurement financed by public funds, which have been made in accordance with the terms of reference of his Department set out by the Prime Minister on 26th November, 1964.

Mr. Benn

Work on this project, which is necessarily long term, has confirmed the advantages of simplifying specifications, variety reduction and co-ordination of purchasing. These points will be increasingly evident in procurement arrangements.

Sir H. Legge-Bourke

Will the right hon. Gentleman seek to be a little more specific and explain what advantages have come about from the creation of his Department compared with what was prevailing before the new relationship between the D.S.I.R. and the Board of Trade, for example?

Mr. Benn

This is a very much broader business. I could give the hon. Member some examples on the use and insistence on British Standards, the purchase of British computers and the fact that 25 per cent. of local authority housing consists now of industrialised buildings, pre-production orders and so on, but he will agree that this is essentially a long-term job and we cannot expect dramatic proposals to come overnight.