HC Deb 25 November 1958 vol 596 cc223-4
50. Mr. Roy Mason

asked the Prime Minister by what method the Atomic Energy Authority is obtaining sufficient beryllium for its requirements; and to what extent there exists a partnership between the Atomic Energy Authority and Imperial Chemical Industries for this purpose.

The Prime Minister

This is a matter of day-to-day administration. The Atomic Energy Authority informs me, however, that it is importing the mineral beryl and having it processed in this country. The Authority is also buying metal flake from France and has a contract with Imperial Chemical Industries for the conversion of this flake into metal in the shapes required.

Mr. Mason

Is it not the case that this metal will be valuable not only to the Atomic Energy Authority but to the aircraft industry as a whole? Can the right hon. Gentleman say to what extent I.C.I., which has a monopoly in its production, has been assisted by research conducted and financed by the State authority?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir, but this is a question regarding the requirements of the Atomic Energy Authority. Although I have done my best to answer, I must point out that these are matters of the general administration of the Authority and its day-to-day duties. I do not wish to go into great detail about them, for they are not matters which I as the Minister in charge should try too meticulously to control.