§ 16. Mr. Bulmer
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many members of the Treasury staff of the rank of assistant secretary or above have had at least one year's experience in manufacturing industry; and what proportion this represents.
§ Mr. Robert Sheldon
Seven members of the Treasury staff of the rank of assistant secretary or equivalent grade and above have had at least one year's experience in manufacturing industry. This represents 8 per cent. of the total.
§ Mr. Bulmer
Does the Minister recognise that that represents a substantial improvement over his last answer, when the reply was "Nil"? Does he now accept that the lack of industrial experience among Treasury advisers has been a contributory factor in the Government's failure to create conditons in which British industry can thrive?
§ Mr. Sheldon
One of the particular advantages we have in the Treasury is that of industrial expertise, which is increasing. It is the intention of the Government over the next three years to double the secondments of civil servants to industry and, if possible, achieve a level of 200 exchanges between Government and industry at any one time. This decision by the Government is to be welcomed and will go a long way to satisfy the hon. Gentleman in these important matters.