HC Deb 09 March 1972 vol 832 cc1642-3
23. Mr. Douglas

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she will make a statement on the progress made with regard to consultation on the Green Paper Cmnd. No. 4814 of November, 1971.

Mrs. Thatcher

The Government aim to reach decisions in the early part of the summer and to publish a White Paper as soon as possible thereafter. Good progress is being made with consultations.

Mr. Douglas

I thank the right hon. Lady for that answer. May we have an assurance that the deliberations of the Select Committee on Science and Technology will be available for her perusal before publication of the White Paper? In the interim, has she any comments to make on the excellent debate which took place last week in the other place on the Green Paper?

Mrs. Thatcher

I give the hon. Gentleman the assurance that he seeks in the first part of his question. I am far too wise to make comments on debates in another place.

Mr. Moyle

Is the right hon. Lady aware that one of the key recommendations in the Rothschild Report was that there should be a gradual transfer of funds from research councils? Is she further aware that the Lord Privy Seal, in another place, has now said that the Government are prepared to forgo that in certain circumstances and that, in the circumstances, the Opposition would like a debate on the Rothschild and Dainton Reports before there is any question of putting those recommendations into effect?

Mrs. Thatcher

Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will adjudge whether he would like a debate before or after publication of the White Paper and take it up through the usual channels.

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