HC Deb 15 February 1966 vol 724 c1095
19. Mr. Marten

asked the Minister of Technology what progress he has made in his consideration of longer-term developments in the application of modern tech nology to the railway industry.

Mr. Cousins

I have nothing to add to the answer I gave the hon. Member on 8th February.

Mr. Marten

Does the Minister recall the statement by the Prime Minister on 26th November, 1964, when he was charged with stimulating advanced technology throughout the whole of industry? Does he recall a recent statement when he limited that to stimulating advanced technology into industries for which he has sponsorship? Can he explain to the House this important difference?

Mr. Cousins

If the hon. Member is addressing a question to me of why the Prime Minister made a difference—if it is suggested he did so in the comments he made—that question might be addressed to the Prime Minister. There has never been any misunderstanding about the functions of the Minister of Technology. The Prime Minister has repeatedly said that departmental Ministers are not absolved from responsibility for productivity within the industries for which they accept sponsorship.

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