HC Deb 27 July 1967 vol 751 cc960-1
25. Mr. Moonman

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what efforts have been made by his Department to encourage the Council of C.E.R.N. to site in Great Britain the proposed large-scale atom-smashing machine; and if he will make a preliminary statement on the arrangements for the project.

Mr. Goronwy Roberts

In 1965 Her Majesty's Government, without commitment to the project, offered a site at Mundford in Norfolk. We have provided C.E.R.N. with full information about this site, which is now under consideration, together with eight sites in other countries.

Mr. Moonman

Is the Minister satisfied that all possible information has been given to C.E.R.N. in support of our application? When is a decision on the choice of site likely to be reached?

Mr. Roberts

I can give that assurance. Two years ago, in answer to a C.E.R.N. questionnaire, the Science Research Council produced an illustrated brochure describing the site and its amenities. Since then, following interdepartmental consultation, we have provided C.E.R.N. with geotechnical information and there have been discussions with officers of C.E.R.N. about certain issues arising from this information. The present intention of the Council of C.E.R.N. is to consider, at its meeting in December of this year, a detailed report on all the nine sites which are now being considered.

Mr. Sheldon

Is my hon. Friend aware that in the whole matter of centres for many international organisations, we as a country are particularly ill-served? Will he draw this to the attention of any international organisation, like C.E.R.N., which is considering the establishment of a new centre?

Mr. Roberts

As I said, all the information—and, indeed, the arguments for this site—has been offered to C.E.R.N.