HC Deb 19 January 1949 vol 460 cc158-9
45. Sir P. Hannon

asked the Lord President of the Council if he will make a statement on the policy of His Majesty's Government on the continuity of operational research applied to industry; if details are available of the number of industries which have undertaken operational research activities; and if he will give an assurance that the departments concerned will extend every encouragement to firms anxious to develop operational research within their respective organisations.

The Lord President of the Council (Mr. Herbert Morrison)

It is the policy of His Majesty's Government to encourage all scientific activities which contribute to increasing the productivity and efficiency of industry. Operational research, I am told, is a term given in the recent war to the use of the scientific method for obtaining data on which executive decisions can be based. It has been employed by progressive firms in many industries for a number of years; I cannot say how many, but there is certainly room for more of it. I have had a full report on its possibilities from a Panel of the Committee on Industrial Productivity.

Several of the co-operative research associations, in particular the Cotton Research Association, the Iron and Steel Research Association and the Boot, Shoe and Allied Trades Research Association are doing well with it, and with the general expansion of facilities since the war, other research associations are already carrying out, or are planning, similar work. I am, therefore, happy to give the assurance which the hon. Member asks for in the last part of his Question.

Sir P. Hannon

On the general question, is the Lord President satisfied that research work now in relation to industry is receiving the full support of His Majesty's Administration?

Mr. Morrison

Yes, Sir.