HC Deb 27 July 1965 vol 717 cc203-4
2. Mr. Awdry

asked the Minister of Technology what is the number of civil servants currently employed in the Computer Advisory Unit.

Mr. Cousins

The present strength of the computer advisory service is 32.

Mr. Awdry

Does the right hon. Gentleman consider that this unit has an expanding rôle? Can he hazard a guess as to how many civil servants there might be in 12 months?

Mr. Cousins

I believe that the unit has an expanding rôle. As I outlined in my speech in the recent debate, it is likely to grow. The extent to which it grows is dependent upon the rate at which we are able to recruit people, but certainly there will be growth.

Dr. Bray

Is my right hon. Friend aware that this extension of the interests of the Computer Advisory Unit to cover those of the local authorities and the nationalised industries should have been made 10 years ago? Is he aware that a further extension might now be required to enable the Conservative Party to elect its new leader?

Mr. Speaker

Order. I do not think that the Minister even of Technology can assume Ministerial responsibility for answering that. The first part was a matter of opinion, so the Minister cannot answer that either.

Mr. Marples

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider giving more information about the number of cases that the unit has considered and which are currently under review? The difficulty faced by the House, as the right hon. Gentleman realises, is how to measure all the efforts and information that the unit has to offer?

Mr. Cousins

There have been a considerable number of cases, but there is a later Question on the subject and I hope to draw the House's attention to it then.

9. Mr. Murray

asked the Minister of Technology when the Computer Advisory Unit will be making its report to him; and whether he will make a statement.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour (Mr. Richard Marsh)

The computer advisory service reports to my right hon. Friend continuously on technical aspects of computer policy and on proposals in the public sector to acquire computers as they arise.