§ 10. Mr. Ellis Smith
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works, as representing the Lord President of the Council (1) if he will call a conference of representatives of Her Majesty's Government, the 735 Advisory Council on Scientific Policy Committee on Scientific Manpower, the Manchester College of Technology, and representatives of the appropriate educational institutions within a forty miles radius of Manchester to consider what co-ordinated action shall be taken on the Report on the Recruitment of Scientists and Engineers by the engineering industry, a copy of which is in his possession, and to consider recommendations to be made by the Principal of the Manchester College of Technology on the urgency of the need for action;
(2) if he has yet considered the Report on the Recruitment of Scientists and Engineers by the Engineering Industry prepared by the Advisory Council on Scientific Policy; if he will make a full statement on the Report; and what action it is intended to take;
(3) what consultations he has had with the nationalised industries on the subject of the Report on the Recruitment of Scientists and Engineers by the Engineering Industry; what consideration he has given to the evidence submitted to the Advisory Council on Scientific Policy including the letters sent in on the problems raised in this Report; and what action it is intended to take.
§ Mr. Bevins
My noble Friend has considered this important Report, and the Government are, of course, well aware of the urgent need for producing more highly qualified scientists and engineers. As the hon. Member knows, the Prime Minister recently announced that the Government hope to issue a White Paper very soon setting out their plans for the development of technical education, and I would ask the hon. Member to await the White Paper.
§ Mr. Smith
That is all right to be going on with, but will the Minister inform his noble Friend of the statement made by one of the greatest authorities in the country today, namely, that the Soviet Union is turning out twice as many engineers per year as the whole of the Western world? In view of that and other statements, and the desire of industry itself to get a move on in order that we may keep in the forefront of world development, will the Minister endeavour to see that this matter is treated as one of great urgency?
§ Mr. Bevins
It is being treated as a matter of great urgency. I have no doubt that my noble Friend is conversant with what the hon. Gentleman has said.