HC Deb 08 November 1967 vol 753 cc1026-7
35. Dr. David Kerr

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will publish annually the results of microbiological research at Porton which have no direct military applicability.

Mr. Mason

Yes, Sir, our policy is to publish as much of these research results as we can. Last year, for example, 40 papers were published by the staff of the Micro-Biological Research Establishment, and members of the staff give lectures and attend national and international symposia. An annual report, in the form of abstracts of all original work published, is issued to about 300 libraries at universities, research institutions and industrial organisations and copies are available on request. From 1st December, 1967, all suitable unclassified departmental reports will be released to the National Lending Library for Science and Technology.

Dr. Kerr

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that reply. Will he note that some of us have a deeply-rooted suspicion of this extrusion from a nightmarish science fiction situation and would be grateful if he could indicate the balance of benefit we derive from the peaceful uses of this research?

Mr. Mason

On the military side, we deal only with counter-measures in defence, but a lot of the work carried out is helping many of the medical research centres. There is a considerable civil fall-out.