HC Deb 26 October 1943 vol 393 cc30-1
51. Rear-Admiral Beamish

asked the Lord President of the Council whether he will invite the War Cabinet Scientific Advisory Committee to consider the general policy to be adopted in planning and financing scientific research in special fields which can be justified in the national interest and for which at present no method of approach or regular provision for support is available through existing official channels?

The Lord President of the Council (Mr. Attlee)

I am satisfied that, in general, existing arrangements provide full opportunity for the consideration of any new scheme of scientific research which may further the national interest. In particular, the desirability of extending, where suitable, the fields of inquiry of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research and the Medical and Agricultural Research Councils is kept well in mind. Whilst in these circumstances I see no point in asking the Scientific Advisory Committee to undertake a general review of the kind suggested, I should not hesitate to ask the advice of the Committee on such matters if the occasion arose. I am having inquiry made into the three particular instances which my hon. and gallant Friend has brought to my notice, but I may say at once that the importance of these topics has not been overlooked in the past.

Rear-Admiral Beamish

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that his reply will give considerable satisfaction in many useful directions?

Sir H. Williams

Are the Government considering the possibility of establishing in this country anything comparable with the Mellon Foundation in the United States?

Mr. Attlee

I should require notice of that question.