HC Deb 13 July 1954 vol 530 cc253-4
2. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer in view of the fact that the Exchequer now contributes to industrial research both directly through the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research and indirectly through remissions of taxation, what steps are taken, or are contemplated, to ensure that the results of such research benefit British industry and not that of our competitors: and how many applications has the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research received for assistance from firms manufacturing in cooperation with British, German and Japanese firms.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. R. A. Butler)

In addition to published information, the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research helps British industry by making its unpublished scientific and technical information and experience freely available to genuine British inquirers. This supplementary assistance is not available in the same way to foreign undertakings. The Research Associations, which are partly supported by public funds through D.S.I.R., have a British membership, and the admission of foreign-controlled firms is strictly controlled. I regret that I have no information on the last part of the Question.

Mr. Ellis Smith

Does the Chancellor think it right that he should pour out millions of pounds on research and then firms should use the benefit of research at State expense to grant manufacturing rights to other countries? Is he aware that manufacturing rights in respect of materials like nylon, Terylene and other synthetic fibres have been granted to Japan, Germany and other countries? Will he ask one or two of his senior officials to investigate the problem and prepare a report for him?

Mr. Butler

Yes, Sir. I should like to examine the statement made by the hon. Member. Perhaps he will consult me so that I may have the full information in order to compare notes with my colleagues.