HC Deb 21 December 1967 vol 756 cc1467-8
34. Mr. Biffen

asked the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs what is the present circulation of his Department's publication "Progress Report"; to whom it is sent and for what reasons; what is its current cost of publication and circulation; and whether he will change the title.

Mr. Dell

About 120,000; to people in industry, trade unions and the educational world on request only; to provide information on economic, industrial and regional topics; about £1,815 per issue; no, Sir.

Mr. Biffen

What is the progress to which the title refers? Can the hon. Gentleman assure us that this is at least one of the sacred cows which will come under scrutiny in the review of public expenditure, on the understanding that there would be widespread assent on both sides of the House if it were axed?

Mr. Dell

If he has not already done so, the hon. Gentleman should read the publication, when he will find a considerable record of progress. There is at any rate a very good indication of its value in the fact that its circulation is nearly six times higher than the equivalent publication of the previous Government and is rising steadily. Hon. Members, who, I would have thought, are very good judges of its value, seem to be very interested in it.