HC Deb 06 December 1960 vol 631 cc1052-3
27. Mr. Albu

asked the President of the Board of Trade what steps he has taken to carry out the recommendations of the Mitchell Committee on the machine tool industry, particularly in regard to standardisation, trials of electronically-controlled machine tools in Government establishments, and the siting of machine tool factories in development areas.

Mr. N. Macpherson

The recommendations are all being actively examined by the machine tool industry and the several Government Departments concerned.

Mr. Albu

Can the hon. Gentleman say whether the Government propose to take action to modernise this backward industry apart from subsidising the research association?

Mr. Macpherson

As I have said, this is primarily a matter for the industry itself and the report was made to the Machine Tool Advisory Council. Appropriate action in conjunction with Government Departments and other bodies such as the British Standards Institution is being taken.

Mr. H. Wilson

is it not a fact that this Report, interesting as it is, is largely a commentary on the Report by Professor Melman, but that we have not yet had the Melman Report published? Will the hon. Gentleman take this matter back and see if he cannot now publish that Report in some form, particularly as Professor Melman has gone on record as saying that the Mitchell Report has not dealt with this matter?

Mr. Macpherson

I shall certainly ask my right hon. Friend to consider what the right hon. Member has said about the possibility of publishing some form, perhaps an abridged form, of the Report.