§ 28 and 29. Mr. Ian Lloyd
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what steps are taken to control the circulation of Treasury forecasts of the rate of inflation;
(2) how many copies of documents containing Treasury forecasts of the rate of inflation are circulated to other Government Departments and to nationalised industries, respectively.
§ Mr. Higgins
The circulation of internal Treasury economic forecasts is restricted to the minimum consistent with the efficient conduct of Government business. It would not be in accordance with normal practice to disclose the arrangements in detail.
§ Mr. Bruce-Gardyne
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his current estimate of the underlying percentage rate of inflation and of the current direction of the trend in that rate.
§ Mr. Barber
As has already been published, the retail prices index in December, 1970, the latest available date, was 7.9 per cent. higher than a year earlier. My hon. Friend will agree that there is now much greater public recognition of the dangers of the present rate of inflation and that this is assisting the Government in their policy.