HC Deb 15 February 1966 vol 724 c1090
13. Sir H. Legge-Bourke

asked the Minister of Technology, what is his policy regarding the co-operation with foregin investors by the National Research Development Corporation in joint projects based in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Cousins

There are at present no N.R.D.C. projects of this kind, but any proposals for such projects will be considered on their merits.

Sir H. Legge-Bourke

Will not the Minister agree that, in the interest of getting European co-operation on the technological front, he should only welcome any attempts made by foreign investors with venture capital to work in conjunction with the N.R.D.C.?

Mr. Cousins

It is very difficult to give an answer on this subject without having a particular case in front of us. If the hon. Gentleman has in mind the fact that certain people try to invest money simply in order to have control without any question of development, that is a dangerous position. But it is not easy to see how the N.R.D.C. could say that it would not consider projects because they had foreign capital in them.

Mr. Marples

Can the Minister assure the House that if any European companies wanted to take a small participation in something in this country the N.R.D.C. would not automatically exclude them?

Mr. Cousins

Certainly. It would not only not exclude them but welcome them, and there are projects which we consider.