HC Deb 06 March 1995 vol 256 cc17-8
37. Ms Lynne

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what recent discussions he has had with the Office of Science and Technology about its funding priorities.

Mr. Horam

Many and continuing.

Ms Lynne

I am delighted to hear that, because the Minister's predecessor said that it was no responsibility of his to discuss funding with the Office of Science and Technology or with the Medical Research Council. Perhaps the Minister will now look at my previous questions about breast cancer research and research into aids for disabled people, and perhaps I can he given a fuller answer than his predecessor gave me.

Mr. Horam

I am aware of the hon. Lady's continuing interest in those matters, and I well understand her sincere concern. I shall study her questions carefully. Let me repeat that, as the hon. Lady knows, such issues are decided on merit; but I shall take into account what she has said.

Mrs. Anne Campbell

A moment ago, the Chancellor referred to the development gap that appears to have mysteriously evolved between basic science and what is industrially applicable. Is that not the same as something called "near-market research", funds for which were slashed by Lady Thatcher in the last Conservative Government?

Mr. Horam

That is a matter for the President of the Board of Trade.