§ 22. Mr. Atkinson
asked the Minister of Technology whether, in view of his decision to sponsor the development of hydrostatic extrusion techniques, he will sponsor the essentially related research and development of cemented carbides and ceramic extrusion dies.
§ Mr. Atkinson
I thank my hon. Friend for that constructive Answer. Is he aware that, in terms of hydrostatic extrusion development, this may prove to be an exciting development for the engineering industry and that we are not far away from the day when many thousands of engineering components will be extruded in this way like toothpaste? Will he, therefore, give an assurance that additional money—in addition to the £300,000 already allocated—will be made available for this work so that the development of the die part of the system can be completed?
§ Mr. Marsh
I agree with my hon. Friend that this is an extremely important development indeed. It could be construed as being virtually nothing less than the development of an entirely new type of machine tool of considerable value. In Birmingham, to give one example, a great deal of research is being done. For this and allied research, contracts for research and development worth about £192,000 have already been placed. If we were successful in this sphere—and I think that we will be—Britain could lead the world in this development.