HC Deb 27 March 1934 vol 287 cc1809-10
39. Mr. MANDER

asked the Lord President of the Council if, in view of the increasing support in certain industries for a compulsory levy in some form to be used for the purposes of financing industrial research, he will consider the advisability of introducing an enabling Bill dealing generally with the subject?

The LORD PRESIDENT of the COUNCIL (Mr. Baldwin)

About two years ago, steps were taken by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research to ascertain the views of the Councils of Research Associations connected with the Department on a proposal that powers should be obtained to require firms in an industry to contribute towards co-operative research where the large bulk of the industry was in favour of such a course. The result was unfavourable to the proposal. Evidence has, however, been received that there may have been some change of opinion in the interval and the Department propose to consult the Associations again on the subject. If it appears that there is now a consensus of opinion in favour of such a Bill and if it is the opinion that a levy for research would be found practicable in a sufficient number of cases and that advantage is likely to be taken fairly generally of the provisions of such a Bill, then I can assure the hon. Member that the whole matter will receive sympathetic consideration by the Government.