HC Deb 01 February 1971 vol 810 cc238-9W
40. Mr. Benyon

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will 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.