§ 16. Mr. Biffen
asked the Minister of Technology if he has received the conclusions of the interdepartmental inquiry initiated by his Department on the use of public purchasing to promote technological advance; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Cousins
The possibilities of using public purchasing to promote technological advance will be the subject of continuing interdepartmental study. I will bear in mind the desirability of making a statement at the appropriate time.
§ Mr. Biffen
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that we have noted with great interest that technological considerations may be one of the matters attracting the employment of funds by the Industrial Reorganisation Corporation? Will he therefore consider the desirability of making public the finding of this interdepartmental inquiry so that we can better judge the criteria by which the Government hope to employ their funds?
§ Mr. Cousins
As is known by both sides, when an inquiry is conducted by officials it is normally accepted as confidential to Ministers, but that does not mean that at some stage the findings will not be made known in some appropriate report and information put in front of this House. But this is not a single report, but a comprehensive and continuing report, of which there are some aspects that no one would think of bringing forward to the House.