HC Deb 02 March 1965 vol 707 cc1116-7
7. Mr. Charles Morrison

asked the Minister of Technology how he proposes to mobilise the resources of technology into a national plan; and if he will make a statement.

32. Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Minister of Technology if he will make a statement on his proposals for mobilising the resources of technology on a national plan.

Mr. Cousins

My proposals are being prepared on the lines indicated in the statement on 26th November by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister. In working them out I am proceeding in close consultation with my right hon. Friend the First Secretary, who is responsible for preparing the National Economic Plan of which the mobilisation of our technological resources will form a part.

Mr. Morrison

In thanking the right hon. Gentleman for his reply, may I ask whether he would not agree that technology is the application of rational thought? Would he not, therefore, agree that the success of technology depends upon human attitudes—[HoN. MEMBERS: "Take your hands out of your pockets."]

Mr. Speaker

Order. Unless hon. Members wish to deny other hon. Members Answers to their Questions, or the chance of Answers to them, I suggest that we address ourselves to technology and rather less to the need to say "No hands in pockets" as hon. Members get up.

Mr. Morrison

What steps does the Minister intend to take to ensure that technology is properly understood throughout the country?

Mr. Cousins

I should have thought that the very creation of the Ministry of Technology was proof of our determination to do this. We are avoiding the vulgar publicity that, apparently, would have been easy, but we are trying to make industry understand, through the use of our own Advisory Council and through approaches to sections of industry, the value of the technological approach.

Mrs. Short

Would my right hon. Friend agree that within the scientific departments that have now come under his wing there are many skilled scientists who would be able to help Government Departments which are less scientifically orientated? May I suggest that the past history of C.L.A.S.P. is a good example of what can be done when scientists co-operate within Departments? Will my right hon. Friend give thought to this idea in the future?

Mr. Cousins

One of the reasons for the study which we are undertaking is to enable as to use the scientific material available to us in the best possible way.