HC Deb 14 May 1957 vol 570 cc204-5
28. Mr. Partridge

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works, as representing the Lord President of the Council, how the British contribution to the International Geophysical Year compares with that of other countries.

Mr. H. Nicholls

I am satisfied that this country will be making a very significant scientific contribution to the International Geophysical Year. Apart from the United States and the Soviet Union, whose efforts both in financial and practical terms are greater than ours, the British programme compares favourably with that of other countries.

Mr. Partridge

As the start of the Geophysical Year is only about two months ahead, can my hon. Friend tell us anything about the projects in mind?

Mr. Nicholls

So far as Britain is concerned, the Radio Research Station of the D.S.I.R. will be the European regional centre for radio observation dealing with the ionosphere and atmospheric noise. In addition to that, there will be a programme of research into the upper atmosphere by the firing of high-altitude rockets from the Woomera range. Support has also been given to the Royal Society's expedition to establish a scientific base on the Antarctic mainland at Halley Bay. America and Russia are each proposing to launch a number of earth satellites for the exploration of the upper atmosphere, and they also have large expeditions to Antarctica, as have a number of other countries, including New Zealand, Australia and France. It will be seen that during the Geophysical Year quite a number of balloons will be going up for some useful purpose.