HC Deb 22 February 1968 vol 759 cc630-1
11. Mr. Costain

asked the Secretary of State for Economic Affairs what recommendations he is now implementing, following the Report of the working group on Migration—The Brain Drain, in view of the results shown.

Mr. Dell

The Report contains wide-ranging conclusions involving the universities, industry and other interests as well as Government. The Government are considering the recommendations as a whole and have commended to the universities and industry those which are addressed to them.

Mr. Costain

Would the hon. Gentleman not agree that this Report is now six months overdue? If his Department is as efficient as the Government claim, why has it not done something about it?

Mr. Dell

On the contrary, we are doing a great deal. First, as a result of an agreement between the Ministry of Technology and the M.S.L., a permanent recruiting drive is being undertaken in the United States. Second, with regard to the recommendations about risk finance for research and development, the Industrial Expansion Bill doubles the resources of the N.R.D.C. Much is being done, but much also depends on industry and the universities.

Mr. Edelman

Will my hon. Friend take into account the effect of mergers on the brain drain? Is he aware that, in Hawker-Siddeley Dynamics, large numbers of valuable and highly-trained scientists are considering emigrating because of rationalisation and the lack of consultation which preceded it?

Mr. Dell

We will certainly take this into account, but my hon. Friend should remember that one of the reasons why many scientists and technologists are not entering industry is that they are not satisfied with the types of laboratory and technical facilities available. One of the consequences of mergers can be the improvement of the standard of industrial laboratories.