§ 40. Mr. Benyon
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will 239W discontinue the annual inquiry into the distributive and service trades.
§ Mr. Ridley
The Annual Inquiry provides statistics which are essential for the compilation of the national income and expenditure accounts and the analysis of economic trends. The industries covered by the Inquiry account for a quarter of all capital expenditure by private industry. I fear that we cannot dispense with the Inquiry although I recognise the burden it imposes on business.