HC Deb 17 November 1960 vol 630 cc550-1
40. Mr. Donnelly

asked the Prime Minister what steps he is taking to set up appropriate Governmental machinery to decide upon and to authorise industrial research which is in the national interest, following upon the redeployment in the Government's defence programme and the research that is associated with it.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Harold Macmillan)

I do not consider that any new Government machinery is required.

Mr. Donnelly

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that under present arrangements about £329 million of the £440 million that we now spend on research is spent by the Government and that most of that is connected with our defence programme in one way or another? What instrument does he propose to establish in lieu of the Ministry of Supply to take the place of the vacuum which is being created in research spending at the moment as a result of Government changes in the defence programme?

The Prime Minister

From the year 1955–56 to the year 1958–59 research expenditure on defence has increased from £177 million to £234 million. Over the same period research and development work financed by Civil Departments doubled from £34 million to £67 million. The Advisory Council on Scientific Policy in its recent report set out its views, but it did not recommend any additional machinery, and I do not think that that is necessary in order to deal with this question.

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