HC Deb 22 February 1968 vol 759 cc629-30
10. Mr. Costain

asked the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs what was the total establishment of the National Board for Prices and Incomes to the most convenient date; and how this compares with the same period for the previous year.

Mr. Frederick Lee

On 1st February, 1968, Board members and staff numbered 206, compared with 125 a year ago.

Hon. Members: Oh.

Mr. Costain

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that the dissatisfaction just expressed on both sides of the House shows that his Department is not working? Should he not reduce rather than increase the number of his establishment?

Mr. Lee

It shows that they are working harder than ever. At the moment, the Board has 23 references before it, as against 19 last year and they are also increasing staff so as to diminish their reliance on outside consultants.

Mr. Rose

In view of the fact that they are working harder than ever, how many cases of representations against price increases have been successful?

Mr. Lee

Recently, far more references than for wage increases.

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