HC Deb 07 December 1965 vol 722 cc214-5
6. Mr. Hamling

asked the Minister of Technology if he will set up an inquiry into the uses of public purchasing in technological advance; and how far this would be in the public interest.

Mr. Cousins

I have already arranged for an inter-departmental inquiry into this matter to be put in hand.

Mr. Hamling

I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply. Is he aware that the Government spend very large sums of money each year, some of which could surely be used for purchasing, which would help technological advance?

Mr. Cousins

This is, of course, the whole subject of the exercise and the inquiry. Large sums of money are involved, but there is a good deal of complication about the variety of purchasing, which therefore needs detailed study.

Mr. Biffen

Could the right hon. Gentleman answer the second part of his hon. Friend's Question, which was how far he thought this would be in the public interest?

Mr. Cousins

I would not have set up an inquiry into the subject had I not thought that it was in the public interest.