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Volume 416: debated on Tuesday 20 November 1945

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asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury how many professional statisticians were employed by His Majesty's Government as temporary civil servants at the peak period during the war; how many arc still so employed; how many have been taken on as permanent civil servants; what terms have been offered to those who were temporary civil servants to take on as permanent civil servants; and how many who have been offered these terms have rejected them.

There is no recognised professional qualification for statisticians and there are no central records, I am sorry to say, which would enable me to give particulars of the staffs which my hon. Friend has in mind.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that among such people who consider themselves to be professional statisticians there is a certain dissatisfaction, and is he aware that these highly- qualified and irreplaceable people are in a position to provide the data upon which an economic plan could be based, and unless H.M. Government do provide that opportunity—

Supplementary questions, I think, are far more effective if they are short and snappy.