HC Deb 10 December 1957 vol 579 cc1053-4
15. Mr. Robens

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works, as representing the Lord President of the Council, when it is proposed to appoint a scientific attaché at the British Embassy in Moscow.

Mr. H. Nicholls

An appointment of this kind has been considered from time to time and is now being considered again.

Mr. Robens

Will the hon. Gentleman say when the consideration will have been completed and a decision made? Is he aware of the debate which took place in this House on the problem of the extraction of scientific information from Russian journals? As the Russian Embassy has a scientific attaché here, is not it time that we had a scientific attaché in Moscow in order that we might have proper access to information which it is highly desirable we should have?

Mr. Nicholls

The right hon. Gentleman will remember that I replied to the debate to which he has referred, so that I have a vivid recollection of it. It is not absolutely accurate to say that the Russians have a scientific attaché here. It may well be that they have on their staff people who have certain scientific qualifications, but not in the sense that they are scientific attachés. I recognise the importance and the urgency of what the right hon. Gentleman has in mind, but it is rather premature to give any definite answers at this stage.