§ Ms Lawrence
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement about the Government's plans in respect of statistics. 
§ Mrs. Liddell
The public, Parliament and government need statistics they can trust. Official statistics commanding confidence are essential to good public management and are the factual cornerstone of democracy. Accordingly, the Government are today publishing a Green Paper, "Statistics: A Matter of Trust", to open up debate on the best arrangements for ensuring high quality statistics, driven by the requirements of all134W users, efficiently produced, and compiled and presented free from political interference. This is yet another stage in the Government's progress towards a more open, fair and modern democracy.
Arrangements are in place to engage in the debate those known to have a close interest in statistics. But views generally will be welcome. The consultation period extends until 31 May 1998. A decision on the way forward will be made as soon as possible after that date.