HC Deb 04 August 1965 vol 717 cc1672-3
10. Mr. Eldon Griffiths

asked the Minister of Aviation what steps he is taking to keep informed of United States and Soviet developments in manned space flight.

Mr. Roy Jenkins

Manned space flight is not a present aim of this country or of any of the international organisations of which we are members, but my Department has access to the published literature emanating from the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R., and frequent reports are provided by our technical missions in the U.S.A.

Mr. Griffiths

Is the Minister aware that there is a large body of technological fall-out from this manned space programme which is benefiting American industry? It has benefited not only industry but medicine, micro-miniaturisation, and many other things. Is he confident that the published material that he says he is getting is made available to scientists in this country and to industries which can benefit from it? Can he further say whether or not he is being apprised by the United States of possible advances being made which are not published but which are equally important?

Mr. Jenkins

I think that we are getting as much information as we could reasonable expect in this field. We cannot hope to have all the advantages without participation, but the cost of participation would be equivalent to the total cost of our defence budget—a point made earlier by my hon. Friend. But we have a good deal of information, and we are doing the best we can to disseminate it to industry.