HC Deb 03 May 1956 vol 552 c581
25. Mr. Callaghan

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer his estimate of the annual sum spent by the Government and by British industry, respectively, on research, excluding defence and atomic research.

The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Henry Brooke)

As to Government expenditure on such research, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given to him on 24th April. The Department of Scientific and Industrial Research is conducting an inquiry at this moment to arrive at an estimate of the sums spent by British industry. I hope that industrialists will co-operate in this inquiry by providing the material from which an esimate may be made; information about individual firms will, of course, be kept confidential.

Mr. Callaghan

Is the Financial Secretary aware that the Stationery Office, for which I suppose he takes responsibility, recently estimated that German Government expenditure was about £50 million a year, as compared with £30 million to £35 million a year by our Government; and estimated that German industry's investment was also about the same—£50 million? Is not that both alarming and surprising—surprising that the Treasury can give figures for Germany but does not know the figures for Britain?

Mr. Brooke

This is not normally one of the researches carried out by the Stationery Office. I hope that the hon. Member appreciates that the D.S.I.R. is now seeking to improve greatly the information which we have on the subject.