HC Deb 04 December 1967 vol 755 cc944-5
50. Mr. Worsley

asked the Minister of Social Security how many full-time research staff are employed by her Department.

Mrs. Hart

Two statisticians and one senior research officer, who are professionally qualified, plus 38 supporting staff. A chief statistician and another research officer are being appointed, and I have plans in hand to increase the number of professionally qualified staff.

Mr. Worsley

Would not the right hon. Lady agree that this number is nothing like enough; and that it is perhaps the reason why she was unable to give answers to many of the questions we asked last Wednesday? Will she take steps to see that there is a co-ordinated and systematic approach to the whole question of research in her Ministry?

Mrs. Hart

That is exactly what I seek to do. However, it must be understood that even a considerable increase in professionally qualified research staff—and I want economists and social scientists—will be unlikely to be able to undertake the kind of continuing mass survey research that we discussed last week. Nevertheless, I totally agree with the hon. Gentleman that it is most important that we should have more research staff in my Ministry.