HC Deb 20 February 1973 vol 851 c202
2. Mr. Douglas

asked the Minister of State for Defence if he will list the research establishments under his control which have undertaken civil research work.

The Minister of State for Defence (Mr. Ian Gilmour)

They are the Royal Aircraft Establishment, the National Gas Turbine Establishment, the Royal Radar Establishment, the Rocket Propulsion Establishment, the Royal Armament Research and Development Establishment, the Military Vehicles and Engineering Establishment, the Chemical Defence Establishment and the Microbiological Research Establishment.

Mr. Douglas

I thank the Minister for that reply, but he seems to have omitted the Naval Construction Research Establishment at Dunfermline and Rosyth which I understand has undertaken civil research work. In pursuit of his duties, will the hon. Gentleman try to persuade the Naval Construction Research Establishment to undertaken work in relation to underwater technology and vetting the stress work on production rigs and platforms for the North Sea?

Mr. Gilmour

As the hon. Gentleman will realise, the primary object of defence establishments is to do work connected with the defence programme, but when there is spare capacity they are glad to undertake work on civil projects.

Mr. Stonehouse

Is the policy to second civil servants to defence establishments intended to assist in the practical application as well as the original research and development?

Mr. Gilmour

As the right hon. Gentleman will know, most establishments are staffed by civil servants.

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