HC Deb 07 December 1965 vol 722 cc223-4
23. Sir J. Eden

asked the Minister of Technology how many scientists and skilled engineers have at their own request left employment in Government research establishments since October 1964; how many of these have since been replaced by new recruits; and if he will make a statement about the nature of the work to be done in these establishments in the future.

Mr. Marsh

Since October, 1964, some 200 members of the Scientific Officer, Experimental Officer and Works Professional grades have left employment in the research establishments for which my right hon. Friend is responsible. In the same period, about 240 new appointments have been made in these grades. These establishments will continue to undertake research, development and advisory work to assist industry and public departments.

Sir J. Eden

If the hon. Gentleman and his Department are really anxious to assist in accelerating the modernisation of British industry, will they do nothing to interrupt the momentum of research in the establishments for which the hon. Gentleman is departmentally responsible? Does he not agree that basic research is basic and that it cannot be parcelled up as between military and civil projects?

Mr. Marsh

I do not think that one need quarrel with the hon. Gentleman's proposition that basic research is basic. I assure him that it is the intention of the Ministry to assist the work of the research departments.