HC Deb 11 April 1967 vol 744 cc963-4
Q2. Mr. Marten

asked the Prime Minister whether, in view of the recent decision to go ahead with a national space programme, he will now make one Minister responsible for all space activities.

The Prime Minister

My right hon. Friend the Minister of Technology is responsible for our national programme of space technology. Responsibility for the rest of our space activities rests with the Ministers concerned with the related terrestrial activities.

Mr. Marten

Now that the Government are spending over £30 million a year on their space activities, will the Prime Minister yield to the general opinion that one Minister should be responsible for co-ordinating all space activities in this country?

The Prime Minister

I have said that my right hon. Friend is responsible for the main programme of space technology. But a question, for example, of the use of military communications satellite systems is clearly a defence matter, and civil satellite communications systems are for my right hon. Friend the Postmaster-General. In this we exactly follow the practice of our predecessors. After a lot of thought, we decided that it is the right practice.