HC Deb 28 June 1966 vol 730 cc1569-70
23. Sir C. Osborne

asked the Minister of Technology, in view of the failure of the two major United States computer manufacturers in the field of very large computers, what plans he has to assist British manufacturers to build these machines, in view of their important strategic and economic rôle; and if he will make a statement.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Technology (Mr. Edmund Dell)

This country will have a limited requirement of such large computers and we are discussing with the computer industry how these needs might best be met.

Sir C. Osborne

Since the British Atlas machine has succeeded where the Americans appear to have failed, may I ask the Joint Parliamentary Secretary whether his right hon. Friend will not buy British for the universities and the Atomic Energy Authority, who require these machines, and so give a boost to the important British computer industry?

Mr. Dell

We are certainly giving every possible encouragement to the British computer industry in every way, including the purchase of British computers for universities—for example, the recent purchase by Edinburgh University. We will continue this encouragement.