HC Deb 23 February 1959 vol 600 cc790-1
4. Mr. Mason

asked the Minister of Supply what further expenditure is contemplated on the research now being conducted into infra-red detection of ballistic missiles.

Mr. Aubrey Jones

The extent of future expenditure will depend on the results achieved in the research now being conducted.

Mr. Mason

Can the Minister tell us something about the research that is being conducted? In view of the fact that this infra-red detection system may prove to give sufficient warning to us to erect a defence against ballistic missiles, this is a very important matter and the House should be aware at least of whether this research will be successful.

Mr. Jones

This is certainly very important. The research now being undertaken in this country is research into basic techniques. Without indulging in hyperbole, I should be justified in saying that the results achieved in this country compare extremely well with those achieved elsewhere. It would be premature, however, to say that the results have reached a point at which one could embark upon a firm development project.

Major Legge-Bourke

In view of my right hon. Friend's welcome answer to Questions Nos. 2 and 9 and also to this Question, may we now take it that there has been a considerable restoration of what I have always regarded as disastrous cuts in defence research and development expenditure, which was cut in 1957?

Mr. Jones

The Question refers to expenditure on infra-red research. To the best of my knowledge, there has been no change in the expenditure in that research since 1957, certainly not a change in the sense of contraction.