HC Deb 05 February 1968 vol 758 c27
46. Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the Minister of Technology how many persons have been and are employed by his Department on scientific work; the nature of their work; where they have been located during each of the last five years; and to what extent the developments of that work have had an effect on the trade, industry, commerce and employment of the City of Aberdeen.

Mr. Benn

My Department employs some 2.000 members of the Scientific Officer class. Their location and work described in "Technical Services for Industry", a copy of which has been placed in the Library. There have been no major changes in location during the last five years.

Aberdeen, like other important industrial cities and towns, has benefited from their work, though it is not possible to quantify this benefit.

Mr. Hughes

In thanking my right hon. Friend for that reply, may I ask, as most of this scientific product depends not on its weight but on its scientific excellence, whether it would not be possible to spread it more amongst the depopulated areas of. the North of Scotland?

Mr. Benn

Apart from the fact that the Torry research station is near my hon. and learned Friend's constituency and is working on problems connected with fish which concern Aberdeen itself, and there are, of course, other establishments in Scotland, I do not think that it would be right to relocate research establishments to meet the point made by my hon. and learned Friend. What is wanted is new industry, not research establishments for this purpose.

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