HC Deb 26 January 1953 vol 510 cc665-6
44. Mr. Perkins

asked the Minister of Supply whether he will move to appoint a Select Committee to advise as to the steps necessary to ensure that this country does not lag behind in the development of inter-planetary travel.

Mr. Sandys

No, Sir. With all due respect to this honourable House, I do not believe that a Select Committee could throw much light on the subject of interplanetary travel.

Mr. Perkins

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Astronomer-Royal recently stated that from the scientific and engineering points of view inter-planetary travel must be considered a practical possibility? In view of the eminence of this gentleman and of the great development work taking place in America, will he consider appointing a small committee of scientists to advise the Government to ensure that we do not lag behind?

Mr. Sandys

I think that these informing studies must at present be left to private initiative. Even in this age of the Welfare State inter-planetary travel is a service for which the Government do not yet accept responsibility.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Are we to assume that there is nobody stupid enough on the other planets to wish to come here?

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Pending a decision on the practicability of inter-Planetary travel, will the right hon. Gentleman co-operate with the Minister of Transport to facilitate travel between different points in the West End of London?

Mr. I. O. Thomas

Would the Minister agree that it would be advisable from all points of view for the Powers on this planet to seek to settle their differences before entering into relationship with other planets?

47. Mr. Perkins

asked the Minister of Supply to what extent development work is being undertaken towards developing inter-planetary travel.

Mr. Sandys

None, Sir. The problems of this world are at present more than sufficient to occupy the Government's scientific resources.

Mr. Gibson

No imagination.