HC Deb 12 February 1963 vol 671 cc1100-1
12. Mr. Boyden

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will arrange for a study of the relationship between the growth of research and development expenditure and productivity as recommended by the Advisory Council on Scientific Policy in Command Paper No. 1920.

Mr. Barber

This is an important and complex field of inquiry to which the National Economic Development Council has decided to devote early attention in its work on the means to faster economic growth.

Mr. Boyden

Could the Financial Secretary say how much staff the Council has devoted to this and how soon we can expect to receive an interim report?

Mr. Barber

I am afraid that I cannot answer that supplementary question. I think that this is very much a matter for the N.E.D.C. and, as I said in my original Answer, the N.E.D.C. intends to devote early attention to it.

Mr. Mitchison

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this is a matter which involves Government responsibility, too, and that there is a certain urgency about it in present conditions?

Mr. Barber

Yes, Sir. This, I would suggest, is perhaps why the proportion of the gross national product spent on research and development has continued to rise in the last few years.