HC Deb 18 March 1958 vol 584 cc1075-6
26. Mr. Willey

asked the President of the Board of Trade what professional qualifications are held by the officer he has appointed to the post of Comptroller-General of the Patent Office.

Sir D. Eccles

The officer appointed has a first-class record as an administrator, which I consider the qualification most urgently required for the post.

Mr. Willey

Surely the President realises that this is most unsatisfactory. Without wishing to reflect upon the suitability of the Comptroller-General and other high appointments, may I ask him if he realises that ours is now the only major Patent Office in the world which does not have a man of high professional reputation at its head? This is a reversal of a thirty-year-old-policy.

Sir D. Eccles

The Office has a large staff, and I consider that it requires men of administrative ability at the top. One of the things that I have asked the new Comptroller to do is to give the scientists on the staff a better chance to learn about administration so that next time we can perhaps go back to the old method of choosing someone within the Office.