HC Deb 07 December 1965 vol 722 c229
32. Sir H. Legge-Bourke

asked the Minister of Technology to what extent his new duties in connection with the mechanical and electrical engineering industries will involve prior consultation with other Government Departments seeking to place orders with these industries; and to what extent change will be necessary in the ordering procedure of the Atomic Energy Authority and the nationalised power industries, in particular, and the civil field in general.

Mr. Cousins

As I stated in reply to the hon. Member's question of 29th November, the Ministry of Technology, as sponsoring Department, is prepared in appropriate cases to consult with other Departments over the placing of their orders. This practice will not be affected by the extension of my Department's duties, though the range involved will be considerably larger.

Sir H. Legge-Bourke

Will the right hon. Gentleman recall that over the years there has been built up a very considerable confidence between the regional offices of the Board of Trade and the D.S.I.R. people working jointly with them in the regions? Is there not a great danger that all that will happen as a result of his activities will be that we shall have yet another Department coining into the picture, thereby causing further delay?

Mr. Cousins

There is certainly no justification at all for any assumption that this will widen the range of consideration. We hope to be as close to the industries for which we are the sponsor as any previous Governments have been.