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A Central Statistical Institute

    Naturevolume 135page991 (1935) | Download Citation



    DESPITE the immense increase in the amount of statistical material which has become available during recent years, investigators still lack the data for even approximate measurement of many of the most important economic forces. In an article in World Survey of May 1935 entitled “The Case for Economic Measurement”, Mr. G. D. H. Cole pleads for the establishment of a Central Statistical Institute in Great Britain which would undertake the regular and prompt compilation and issue of this type of information, including regular surveys of production, prices, wholesale and retail trade, population movements and the like. He also advocates the publication of an annual “Progress of Britain Report“like that issued by the Government of India. The annual “Statistical Abstracts of the United Kingdom”, it is true, go back nearly to the middle of the nineteenth century, and though greatly improved since the early issues, they have by no means been expanded in proportion to the development of the official corpus of statistics taken as a whole, and anyone who wants to collect the bare essentials of the current statistics in Great Britain has to work through much scattered material in numerous official publications. Mr. Cole also states that the publications of the Stationery Office on the subject are often expensive; while in most towns it is impossible to find any place where even the most important public documents can be consulted, and for private students or even small institutions, the cost of buying the bare minimum of requisite reports is excessive.

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