HC Deb 22 February 1968 vol 759 cc625-6
2. Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs what proposals he has to strengthen his department in order to equip it to plan the economy so as to increase productivity, involve producers in decisions taken by Government, and raise the standards of living of lower-paid workers.

Mr. Shore

The present establishment of my Department is adequate to enable it to carry out its functions in relation to Government policy.

Mrs. Short

I was not asking about establishment. Is my right hon. Friend not aware that the way to make his Department the spearhead of Socialist advance that it was intended to be, would be to free it of the Establishment anti-Socialist domination of the Treasury, which is continually giving Ministers outdated economic information on which they are basing their wrong policies? Is he aware that he would have—[Interruption]—full support if he put his foot down?

Mr. Speaker

Order. Questions must be brief.

Mr. Shore

I can assure my hon. Friend that the major concern of the Department of Economic Affairs is with planning in the short and medium term. We have to carry out our policies in cooperation with many other Ministries.

Mr. Fortescue

Would not the right hon. Gentleman consider that he is the Establishment now?