HC Deb 02 March 1965 vol 707 cc1120-1
12. Mr. Ian Gilmour

asked the Minister of Technology what measures he is taking to encourage scientists and technologists to remain in British industry.

Mr. Cousins

I believe that the formation of a Ministry of Technology with the wide range of responsibilities described by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 26th November, 1964, will in itself be an encouragement to technologists and scientists. Further, we are initiating studies into the whole question of the status of engineers, and are working in close consultation with the Department of Education and Science on the supply of scientists.

Mr. Gilmour

Does not the right hon. Gentleman realise that almost everything that this Government have done, from his own appointment and the increase in taxation to the havoc created in the aircraft industry, is calculated to drive these talented people abroad?

Mr. Cousins

I certainly do not accept the hon. Member's opinion about that.

Mr. Lubbock

Can the Minister say whether there have been any recent figures concerning the emigration of technologists to the United States and elsewhere in comparison with the figures for about a year ago?

Mr. Cousins

I have no recent figures. Some of the last figures available to D.S.I.R. showed a tendency for some of them to be coming back.

Mr. Allason

Is the Minister aware that his reported statement that his new job was to bring science into industry caused considerable offence to many firms which have employed scientists for years?

Mr. Cousins

I am not aware of that. It is not a statement of fact. I did not make that comment—and industry has welcomed me much more than many other people have.