HC Deb 18 March 1968 vol 761 cc11-2
9. Mr. Marten

asked the Minister of Technology whether he will publish the Report of the Advisory Committee on the future of European co-operative space activities.

Mr. Benn

The Report of the Advisory Committee on Programmes is a report to all the Governments represented at the European Space Conference, who have agreed that it should be publicised at a Press conference held in Paris on 14th March. Copies of the Report are available for the Press on application to the Secretariat of the European Space Conference in Paris or to my Department. In addition I am arranging for a limited number of copies to be placed in the Library of the House.

Mr. Marten

Can the Minister say what attitude the Government are likely to take towards this Report when it comes to the conference? May we have an assurance that we in this House shall know what attitude they will take before the conference actually happens?

Mr. Benn

The issues raised by this Report are very important issues. The Government are now considering them. There is a little time before the Bonn conference takes place. We shall reach our conclusions about them as soon as we possibly can. I cannot undertake that there will be a debate in this House, but as soon as we reach a view we shall be in a position to let it be known.

Mr. David Price

Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that more effec tively to co-operate with European projects we have to maintain a minimum threshold of space capability at home? Does he also agree that there is some doubt whether we have the balance right at the moment between the national effort and the European co-operative effort?

Mr. Benn

These are some of the factors that we are looking at. Of course there is the Black Arrow project at home.