§ Mr. Austin Mitchell
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what he estimates was the single most important factor making for the large swings in productivity in manufacturing industry from 1952 to 1978 as shown in his answer of 13 November.
§ Mr. Biffen
For most of the period referred to in my previous answer, that is 1952 to 1978, fluctuations in productivity in manufacturing industry, as measured by published statistics, were mainly a consequence of short run fluctuations in output. Since the early seventies 505W it has proved more difficult to explain changes in productivity in this way.