HC Deb 21 November 1968 vol 773 c1516
39. Mr. Gordon Campbell

asked the Postmaster-General in what areas of the work of the General Post Office it is customary to put general knowledge questions to members of the public.

Mr. Stonehouse

In all areas of Post Office activity market research inquiries are undertaken whenever appropriate to obtain facts and to assess public opinion and reaction on which to base policy decisions. General knowledge questions are included when answers to these are expected to be a significant factor in the interpretation of the results.

Mr. Campbell

Does the right hon. Gentleman really think that it improves relations with the public to interpose general knowledge questions such as, "Who wrote Hamlet?" and, "What happened in 1066? "? Is not this yet another case where the Postmaster-General has given the impression that he considers that it is the public who are at fault?

Mr. Stonehouse

There is a generally recognised procedure by research establishments that certain general questions are included in order that they can make a correct assessment of the survey as a whole. The survey to which the hon. Gentleman refers has now been discontinued.