HC Deb 15 February 1966 vol 724 cc1090-1
14. Sir H. Legge-Bourke

asked the Minister of Technology what action he is taking in respect of the recommendations contained in paragraphs 12, 13, 14, and 286 of the Flowers Committee Report, Command Paper No. 2883, to the effect that large United States computers should be installed at the regional centres in London, Manchester and Edinburgh.

Mr. Cousins

Discussions have been held with British computer manufacturers about the way in which the need for a number of large computers for the universities and other users might be met by the development of British-made machines.

Sir H. Legge-Bourke

In view of the difficulty which Control Data Computer Company is having with its large computer at C.E.R.N., and in view of the statement by I.B.M. that it is not prepared to hire its computers but only accept firm orders for purchase, will the Minister consider whether or not there is now a case for having them made in the United Kingdom?

Mr. Cousins

We have, as hon. Members opposite know, pressed all the time for the right of British computer manufacturers to supply our needs, but the suggestion that they should supply all our needs is something which I think neither side of the House would accept. In the discussion of the Flowers Report, it was accepted that they could supply the medium and small computers but that some of the larger ones could not be supplied by them. We are hoping to encourage large computer production by the manufacturers involved.

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