HC Deb 29 November 1917 vol 99 cc2204-5

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether any efficient system of co-ordinating the research work now being conducted in the laboratories of our universities, in the National Physical Laboratory, and in the Imperial Institute is being or has been arranged, more especially with a view to bring the results of such researches into close relation with fresh problems connected with our Colonial trade and with our productive industries in this country and in our Dominions overseas; and whether opportunities are afforded for placing at the service of our manufacturers scientific experts to advise them or to conduct in their factories special investigations: and, if so, under what conditions?


The important questions raised by the hon. Member are too large for effective treatment by way of question and answer; but, as he is no doubt aware, the Committee of the Privy Council for Scientific and Industrial Research are, in the course of their administration, collecting information as to research being conducted in various places and different types of institution which cannot but facilitate the co-ordination of research work which the hon. Member desires. Moreover, as he will have gathered from the Annual Reports of that Department, similar organisations have come or are coming into existence in other parts of the Empire, which are in close relation with the Research Department of this country. As an example of what is being done in the oversea Dominions, I would refer the hon. Member to the report of the Commonwealth Advisory Council of Science and Industry and the recently-published " South African Journal of Industries," which may be seen in the Colonial Office Library. This imperial machinery will enable those who are engaged in our Colonial trade and in our productive industries to become acquainted with the problems arising in different parts of the Empire, and with the results of any researches now in progress either here or in the Dominions. The hon. Member will be aware of the work of the Imperial Institute, which is always willing to put its expert advice at the disposal of manufacturers. As regards the final part of the question, the establishment of research associations, which is one of the main objects of the Research Department, is intended to place at the service of our manufacturers scientific experts who may advise them or conduct in their factories special investigations


May I have a copy of that answer?