HC Deb 28 July 1960 vol 627 cc1859-60
40. Mr. Wyatt

asked the Prime Minister whether he will appoint a Minister charged with the functions of developing and producing the launchers required, of procuring the necessary instrumentation, and of deciding upon the programme for a British space research programme of the order of £20 million, so as to avoid duplication of effort and conflict of Departmental interests.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Macmillan)

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Aviation on 25th July to the hon. Members for Stockton-on-Tees (Mr. Chetwynd), Bolton, West (Mr. Holt) and Pembroke (Mr. Donnelly). This question does not therefore arise at the present time.

Mr. Wyatt

Will the Prime Minister say whether the Minister who is going to Australia to talk about our space programme there will also go to Europe to talk to Ministers in France and other countries in the hope that we might get some international co-operation with the British on the Blue Streak programme; or is he saying that our seriously entering the space age is entirely dependent on what the Australians say?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir, but we have to start somewhere, and as the Australians have been our partners in this matter throughout, it seems to be right to discuss the matter with them.

Mr. de Freitas

Can the Prime Minister say which Minister is going to Australia to talk about this subject, because that is the key of the matter?

The Prime Minister

No, Sir, not at present.