§ Mr. David Hunt
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many questionnaires, statistical inquiries or investigations have been carried out, either wholly or partly at public expense, on behalf of or by his Department or by any public bodies for which he is responsible in 1976, 1977 and in 1978 to date, specifying their nature and purpose and their estimated total cost.
§ Mr. John Silkin
My Department and associated bodies undertake on a regular or continuing basis a wide range of statistical surveys. There were 146 such surveys involving the use of questionnaires in 1976 and 140 in 1977; the number arranged for 1978 is 135. In addition, there were, respectively, 29, 28 and 12 "once only" surveys.
These surveys are mainly to obtain information about the industries for which I am responsible that is needed as a basis for making decisions whether by Ministers or by the industries themselves. The cost of most of the surveys is not separately calculated and could be obtained only at disproportionate expense.