HC Deb 05 May 1971 vol 816 cc1373-4
36. Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Minister for the Civil Service whether he will cease the present practice whereby his Department keep under constant review the prices and charges for which he has responsibility, and initiate a system of monthly reviews of such prices and charges to enable him to show from month to month to what extent since June, 1970 the Government's policy of reducing prices and costs is operating so far as it affects his departmental responsibilities; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. David Howell

No, Sir.

Mr. Lewis

Again, if only the Minister would give the information requested by my Question he would be able to see the relevance of my supplementary question on Question 35 and we should then be able to tell how far the Government are implementing their promise to reduce prices, to reduce the number of civil servants and to reduce the cost of the Civil Service, and we could have a month-to-month account to see how far the Government are succeeding. If the Minister will not give us the information, neither we nor the country at large can make a judgment of the Government's success.

Mr. Howell

It is still difficult to see how these questions arise from the Question. The cost of collecting the answers to both these Questions would he disproportionate in terms of taxpayers' money.