§ Mr. William Hamilton
asked the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the steps taken as a follow-up of the productivity conference which he initiated last September; and in particular on the question of the availability of services to advise industry on matters concerning productivity and efficiency.
§ The Prime Minister
A National Economic Development Office working group is reviewing the wide range of governmental and other advisory services to industry to see if gaps need filling and whether co-ordination can be improved; the Chairman of the National Economic Development Council, my right hon. Friend the First Secretary of State, has written to about 7,000 firms to launch a British Productivity Council campaign for spreading knowledge of productivity techniques; a National Economic Development Council Committee on labour utilisation has started work; greater efforts are going into international and inter-firm comparisions; the National Economic Development Council will shortly be publishing fresh guidance on investment appraisal; and the Government have increased the rates of investment grant as announced on the 1st of December.