The National Economic Development Office, situated since 1963 in Millbank Tower, has a range of informal responsibilities in addition to its formal duties of serving the Council and organising the Committees. The former cannot be set out schematically since NEDO’s various departments, in particular the Industry and Economic Divisions, tend to define them from slightly different standpoints. But the Office exists not only to undertake objective research and analysis into the problems and prospects of British industry, and to present these with independence and technical skill to the Council, but also to achieve change in industry and the economy. NEDO has not usually been, and should not be a comfortable body for ministers: it should represent itself and its findings to successive governments with a degree of continuity hard for the civil service to achieve, as a sort of conscience for industry, telling them truths they might rather not hear, and probably would not hear in any other way.
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