HC Deb 15 February 1966 vol 724 cc1092-3
17. Mr. Longbottom

asked the Minister of Technology whether he will make a statement on his visits to, and the work done at, the Government research stations for which his Department is responsible.

Mr. Cousins

I would refer the hon. Member to my answer to the hon. Member for Devizes (Mr. Charles Morrison) on 3rd February, in which I gave details of my visits to Ministry of Technology and Atomic Energy Authority Establishments. Information on the work done at these establishments is contained in the annual reports published by the Stationery Office of the Atomic Energy Authority and of the Ministry of Technology establishments.

Mr. Longbottom

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that we have read this very small list of visits he has made, and will he tell the House whether he has taken any action as a result of what he has seen on these visits?

Mr. Cousins

Hon. Members may have read the list, but what has happened is that I have been familiarising myself with the activities of the very comprehensive group of establishments I have covered in my visits. In order that I can make the best use of this information I have discussed it with the Advisory Council on Technology and the industries concerned, because the value of technology is that we should use it for making sure that what requires to be done shall be done by an economic method.

Mr. Hector Hughes

In particular, would my right hon. Friend say what are his plans, in view of the new prototype reactor established near Dounreay experimental station, for the purpose of bringing more power to Aberdeen—[Interruption.]

Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. and learned Gentleman must not wait so long for the applause and take a bow. We must move on.

Mr. Cousins

I am at a disadvantage in not being able to see the bow, Mr. Speaker. But, of course, the object of the exercise we conducted in the House last week was first to agree on getting it built.

Mr. Hughes

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. You implied that the applause was actuated by me. It was quite spontaneous.

Mr. Speaker

It may have been spontaneous, but we must move on.