§ 12. Sir H. Legge-Bourke
asked the Minister of Technology what percentage of the total orders placed by CERN have been placed with British firms; how this compares with British contributions to CERN; and what steps he is taking to improve the return on British investment in this field of pure basic nuclear research.
§ Mr. Stonehouse
British firms have so far obtained only some 4.5 per cent. of CERN contracts, while our contribution to the organisation is 23 per cent. The return is disappointing and my Department, jointly with Science Research Council, is seeking to improve the flow of information about future tender action and to encourage British industry to improve its showing.
§ Sir H. Legge-Bourke
I fully appreciate and endorse the figures the hon. Gentleman has given, very serious as they are, but will he give an assurance that everything possible will be done to bring about a situation in which British firms can quote more competitively, as I understand that the present quotation is about 50–100 per cent. above the lowest tender?