HC Deb 24 June 1968 vol 767 cc24-7
37. Mr. Luard

asked the Minister of Technology which countries have been visited by Ministers in his Department for talks on technical co-operation; and what technical agreements have been made with other countries.

Mr. Benn

Since January, 1967 visits have been made to 16 countries, details of which I will circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT, and talks on technological collaboration have been a main or a subsidiary purpose on each occasion.

There is a wide variety of agreement on technological exchange with other countries including those between individual scientists, formal agreements for projects such as Concorde, and numerous firm-to-firm agreements. General inter-Governmental Technological Agreements have been concluded between the United Kingdom and Rumania, Hungary, Poland, the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, respectively.

Mr. Luard

Does the list include Japan? Does my right hon. Friend agree that there might be advantage in further technical co-operation with a number of countries outside Europe rather than concentrating so exclusively on European countries as we have so far?

Mr. Benn

I accept what my hon. Friend says about the need for spreading our technological co-operation as widely as possible. But in our relations with Eastern Europe there are special reasons why the technological agreement type of procedure has been followed, and in Western Europe this is very closely connected with our approach to European technological collaboration. But because the Government have not so far been engaged on wider visits than these it does not mean that we are not anxious to encourage our extension of relations with these countries.

Following are the details:

Visits by Ministers since January, 1967


Federal German Republic—(10th-11th January, 1967). Return visit to opposite number in Federal German Republic.

U.S.S.R.—(17th-21st April, 1967). Talks with Academician Kirillin, vice-chairman of the Council of Ministers and Chairman of the State Committee for Science and Technology. Anglo-Soviet Technological Agreement signed.

Canada and the U.S.A.—(18th-27th May, 1967). EXPO 67 and talks with opposite numbers in Canada; Water for peace conference in U.S.A.

Frence—(2nd-3rd June, 1967). Paris Air Show (with Minister of State).

Italy—(21st-22nd November, 1967). General Talks.

France—(11th December, 1967). With Minister of State to Toulouse for Concorde rollout.

France—(29th January, 1968). Address to Council of Europe at Strasbourg.

Federal German Republic—(20th-21st February, 1968). Address to Deutsch Gesellschaft Fϋr Aussenpolitik in Bonn.

Belgium—(26th-27th Feburary, 1968). Visit to Brussels.

France—(10th-12th March, 1968). O.E.C.D. meeting of Ministers of Science in Paris.

Rumania—(3rd-8th June, 1968). Review of progress under Anglo-Rumanian Technological Agreement.

Denmark—(12th-13th June, 1968). Visit to British Engineering Week Exhibition. Talks with Danish opposite numbers and addresses to Danish Professional Engineerings Association and British Import Union of Denmark.

Minister of State

France—(16th January, 1967). Discussion on aircraft project in Paris.

Federal German Republic—(26th-27th January, 1967). Airbus meeting in Bonn.

France—(8th-9th May, 1967). Discussions on aircraft projects in Paris.

Italy—(26th-27th May, 1967). Round Table Conferences on European problems in Turin.

France—(1st-3rd June, 1967). Paris Air Show (with Minister).

France—(13th June, 1967). Discussion on aircraft projects in Paris.

France—(22nd-23rd June, 1967). Discussions with French opposite number and inspection of Concorde at Toulouse.

Italy—(11th-13th July, 1967). European Space Conference in Rome.

U.S.S.R.—(11th-22nd September, 1967). Discussions on aviation topics.

Federal German Republic—(25th-26th September, 1967). Signature of airbus memorandum of agreement in Bonn.

U.S.A. and Canada—(4th-21st October, 1967), Visits to aviation firms.

France—(26th October, 1967). Ministerial Meeting in Paris.

France—(11th December, 1967). With Minister to Toulouse for Concorde rollout.

Czechoslovakia—(26th March-1st April, 1968). Signature of Anglo-Czechoslovak Technological Agreement.

Federal German Republic—(26th-30th April, 1968). Hanover Air Show and Trade Fair.

Australia and the U.S.A.—(9th-21st May, 1968). Signature of Agreement on future of Woomera; visits to aviation firms in U.S.A.

Dr. Bray, Joint Parliamentary Secretary

Yugoslavia—(7th-11th March, 1967). Opening of Exhibition of British Industrial Design in Zagreb; talks on technological cooperation with Yugoslav leaders.

Hungary—(19th-24th June, 1967). Talks on technological co-operation.

Belgium—(27th June, 1967). Visit to opening of reactor in Brussels.

Poland—(6th-11th October, 1967). Anglo-Polish symposium of Research and Development; signature of Anglo-Polish Technological Agreement.

Mr. Dell, Joint Parliamentary Secretary

Italy—(13th-l5th April, 1967). Milan Trade Fair.

France—(18th May, 1967). Paris Heating Exhibition.

France—(26th-28th May, 1967). Deauville Symposium.

Mr. Fowler, Joint Parliamentary Secretary

Finland—(21st-22nd October, 1967). Opening of steel plant.

Holland—(15th-16th January, 1968). Visit to Fokker works.

Holland—(8th-9th May, 1968). Philips Evoluon Exhibition.