HL Deb 15 November 1961 vol 235 cc648-728

2.38 p.m.

VISCOUNT CALDECOTE rose to call attention to the importance of making full use of our technical man-power, and to the need to devote more resources to research and development in industry, so as to enable our exports to compete effectively in the changing conditions of world trade; and to move for Papers. The noble Viscount said: My Lords, when I put down this Motion in the summer I knew that it was a formidable subject, but as I have read the words, both spoken and written, of the many eminent authorities who have been looking at this important matter and seeing the vast amount of work that has been done by experienced people, I must say that I have realised that I am rushing in where angels fear to tread. However, the serious balance-of-payments situation which exists in this country has been brought home again, I think, by the figures that were published this morning. There is no need for me, particularly in this House, to emphasise the importance of exports to this country. My purpose to-day is to try to draw the attention of your Lordships to one important factor—the scientific factor. I should like to quote a few words said by the president of M.I.T. at the recent centenary celebrations. This is what he said: Science—and I now use the word in its larger sense—is thrusting forward on every front with a most extraordinary vigour and speed. One is either a part of this movement or is left behind.

We were not left behind in the past. We lead in many fields now; and we must, and can, lead in many more. We became a powerful trading nation by taking advantage of new developments. We sold new products at competitive prices. Now the pessimists conclude that we can never recover our export position because of the changes which the two great world wars have produced. They have produced new industries and new competitors.

I believe that that is an entirely wrong idea. It is as wrong as the idea that there is no urgent need to take account of this problem. For great changes have occurred. We can never return to the position when we were the suppliers of a great part of the world's manufactured products and of capital goods to a rapidly developing Commonwealth. Now new industries have grown up in newly developing countries. There is the post war re-equipment of Europe. The United States are seeking ever wider markets for their huge production. Japan, a recovered country, needs exports vitally to maintain an ever-growing population. And soon we shall have Russia and China competing in the export markets.

Certainly, my Lords, there has been change and in order to improve indeed, to retain—our present position, we have to change, too, and change fast. The problem, in a nutshell, is to expand exports faster than imports. One of the most effective ways of doing that is to export brains, ideas, "know-how", call it what you will. In that struggle, trained scientists, engineers and technicians will aways be to the fore. The whole problem was summed up admirably, I believe, by the Chairman of I.C.I. in the Financial Times last January. To make another brief quotation, he said: We can keep our balance of payments straight only by being among the world's leaders in the development of new products and new processes. Almost as important is the improvement of existing products and processes, so that on prices and quality we can hold our own with the best of our competitors.

Your Lordships will have studied the excellent Report of the Advisory Council on Scientific Policy, which was published about a year ago; and indeed, we had a valuable debate on it in your Lordships' House. I do not presume to question any of the conclusions of that Committee, which was composed of such distinguished men. I wish rather to amplify them. So much for the background.

May I quote a few figures to get the measure of the problem? In the 1920's, exports exceeded 25 per cent. of our gross national product. In 1950 they were down to 19½ per cent. and by 1960 had fallen further to 17 per cent. of our gross national product. Since 1949 exports have risen in this country by about 3 per cent. per annum, compared to a world trade increase of about 7 per cent. In straight terms, we now export a smaller proportion of our total production and our share of world trade is less. That is a situation when visible exports are more than ever important. Exporting is sometimes fun. It is certainly arduous and often relatively unprofitable. Many factors contribute to success. Salesmanship, credit facilities and market research are some of the important factors. None of them is of much value unless the product is first-class value for money and that means research and development.

I make no suggestion whatever that all British industry is bad; quite the reverse. The best British products lead the field. Nor do I make any suggestion that all industries must do as much research and development as, for instance, the aircraft industry. The scale of research and development needed clearly differs. Some industries and many companies already do quite a lot, and they produce first-class products. But far too many do not. We want far more of what we might call the first eleven. More managements have to be convinced of the value of research and development in a far wider variety of industries than are now convinced of it.

I do not think it is very helpful in debates of this kind to single out specific industries for criticism: rather would I give some examples of where research and development has been of tremendous value. In the building industry, work done at the building research station is estimated to have saved £300 million in the past twelve years in the school-building programme by using new methods of design and construction. In electronics, great steps have been made in the miniaturisation of components. Your Lordships will remember the relatively large valves, as big as your fist, in wireless sets of prewar days. Those came down substantially during the war, and in 1955 you could perhaps get three or four electronic components in a cubic inch. In 1961 we can get about 150 in a cubic inch, and in 1967 we shall probably be able to get 18,000 in a square inch. That comes from research and development. Computer speeds have increased more than a hundred times in six years. A simple material like cast iron has been increased in strength by research and development three times.

Jet engines when they first came in had a thrust of about twice their own weight, and we are now in sight of thrusts of about sixteen times their own weight, making vertical take-off and landing of aircraft possible. That has happened in twenty years. And in fifteen years power station efficiencies have risen by some 10 per cent. I could extend this list indefinitely, but finally I will give only one other in a rather different field. We find that research in the ladies shoe industry has reduced the number of fittings required from 120 to thirty-one.

Each industry and each company should, I suggest, look at itself and analyse its own performance, to see whether or not it requires more research and development and whether it is making the best use of the information and knowledge that is already available.

I hope to-day to indicate how industry might help itself a little, and how the Government might help industry a little more. It is a tremendously wide subject, and although my remarks are intended to cover the whole field, I am afraid they will inevitably have a bias towards engineering, partly because of the leading position of the engineering industry in exports and partly because of my own experience. Let us look at a few more figures. In engineering, the proportion of output used on research and development is just over eleven per cent., and the proportion of exports over its whole output is over fifty per cent. In aircraft, the figures are about thirty-five per cent. and thirty-five per cent. The exports are perhaps rather distorted by the high defence content. In chemicals, the proportion of research and development to output is about six per cent., and the exports about thirty-two per cent. of output. Those three products—and I could quote many more—have a high technical content.

It is interesting that in 1938 one-third of British exports was comprised of products such as these and a few others. In 1959 the proportion had risen to one-half, and in 1960 it had risen to two-'thirds, a continuous trend towards a larger and larger proportion of exports being in these highly technical fields. Production in manufacturing industry increased between 1950 and 1960 by about fifty per cent.—rather less. Compare that with production in those highly technical industries—chemical, electrical, engineering, aircraft and vehicles—which nearly doubled. I think we can see from those figures—there are many more that could be quoted—the tremendously urgent need for technically backward industries to catch up with the best.

What can be done? First, we must have an adequate number of well-trained, qualified engineers and scientists. I am not going to deal with that subject to-day: my noble friend Lord Shackleton will deal with it in drawing attention to the recent Report on this subject. I should like to make only one point, because it bears on some of what I am going to say. It is tremendously important to realise that the use made of trained manpower will affect the quality of the entry. They are not usually able to reach the top positions, and there will be a tendency for the best brains not to go into engineering and science.

Secondly, we must make the best use of those technical resources that we have, and that is my main subject to-day. First of all (and I apologise for some more figures) where is this research and development done? Over half of it is done in private industry; about one-third in Government establishments; the universities and one or two other places do about 8 per cent. of it; public corporations do a little more than 1 per cent., and industrial research associations do a little more than 1 per cent. A total of £477 million was spent in 1958–59 on research and development. It does not compare too badly on a percentage basis with the expenditure in the United States. But I think it compares rather badly when we think of our position and of the amount of money that industry spends on home advertising, which is of about the same order of magnitude: about £400 million was spent in that year on home advertising. The question must be asked: Is that total of research and development sufficient? Have we the right balance between the different places where it is done? Do we make the best use of the staff we have?

I should like to make a few general comments before getting down to a little more detail. First of all, I do not think enough is done in industry. The best is first-class, but there is not enough of the best. If we are going to do more how is it going to be paid for? There is a dangerous tendency to-day in industry—perhaps also in politics—to say that the only thing that is wrong with industry is that it is not sufficiently competitive. Competition is a good thing. Too much competition, however, like so many good things, is not so good. It can lead to a situation where there is not a big enough margin to carry out the necessary research and development to keep industry ahead of the world.

I have already referred to the ratio of research and development expenditure to home advertising. Can anyone argue that for industry to spend 20 per cent. less on home advertising would have a catastrophic effect on our exports? Can anyone argue that 20 per cent. more spent on research and development would not have a beneficial effect? I doubt whether the vast amount of knowledge in Government research establishments is fully used. I am certain that there is quite inadequate collaboration between universities and industry. I am afraid there may be some duplication of research and development in the nationalised industries—in the service industries like transport, electricity and gas—which should surely concentrate on operational research. Finally, I am quite sure that there is far too little of this type of work done in research associations which have the great advantage that the work is open to all members throughout the industry. I will have some more remarks to say about each of these later on.

May I first make a few general remarks on the employment of technical manpower? There is still evidence, I think, that there is a general lack of adequate rewards for this type of work, and not only financially. There have been great improvements over the last ten years. It is a question of opportunity to expand responsibility and to see a useful way ahead. There is also the question of the standard of equipment that is all too often provided in the country.

There is still, I am afraid, in the words of Lord Cherwell, a tendency to think that scientists and engineers should be "on tap" and not on top. I am afraid the Government do not set too good an example in that respect. I do not mean the politicians; I refer to the position throughout the Civil Service where, on the whole, the technically trained man has a very poor chance of reaching the top. Compare that with the situation in Russia, where those in charge of technical industries are, on the whole, men with technical qualifications. I am afraid there is some substance in the criticism, to which the noble Viscount the Leader of the House referred the other day, of scientific control by amateurs—and I am not in any way criticising his own position. Certainly we do not want a narrow-minded approach, but we do, I believe, need a new approach to this subject.

Would it be too revolutionary to suggest that there might perhaps be appointed a public scientific committee, akin to the Public Accounts Committee, to investigate whether the nation's scientific resources were being adequately, properly and economically used, just as the Public Accounts Committee in another place discusses and investigates whether the nation's money is being used properly? Too many good men in this field are emigrating. If you talk to professors and Ito businessmen you will hear a variety of reasons for this fact—as fact it is. For instance, the two top men in I.B.M. in America are British, or late British, subjects.

Now let us look at the various places where research and development is undertaken. Let us first look at universities and educational establishments. Let us see whether we think that the collaboration between industry and those establishments is adequate to take advantage of all the knowledge and experience which is there—for there are very special conditions and talents available in universities. There is individual freedom; there is lack of day-to-day pressure, with which so many of your Lordships are familiar. There is the value to industry and also to teaching that can result from close contacts. In this field there is no doubt that the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research have made a tremendous contribution by stimulating research work, especially in biological and natural sciences. Invaluable work has been done in training future research workers.

But I am afraid that the situation in engineering and technology is much less satisfactory, both as to number and quality. I certainly would not advocate a great increase in research students working on engineering and technological subjects without industrial training being given. What is wanted is high academic attainment plus the industrial experience that is required. This would lead to increased confidence. We are far behind the United States in this respect. In America, collaboration between universities and industry is universally encouraged, and those who do it are respected. In this country, too often the resources are limited and difficulties are put in the way.

To make one other short quotation, an article, written by two Liverpool professors, I think, puts the position very well: At M.I.T. research workers are participating directly in one of the most advanced and exciting engineering developments; in Britain they are all too often struggling along in isolation. Many universities can do as well as that. Some perhaps do. But I believe that a new understanding is needed. We need more interchange of staff between the universities and industry. We need to remove obstacles of pensions, salaries and the like. We need in industry more management initiative to seek the advice of the universities, and we need the universities to allocate resources to this programme. And perhaps there is a new opportunity for collaboration in this subject in the colleges of advanced technology. I believe most sincerely that further investigation is needed into all these aspects of collaboration.

Then there are the research associations. These were set up with great foresight some forty years ago to do collaborative research for industry, a splendid industrial academic link. Originally the idea was that they would, after an initial period, be self-supporting, and it seems that this idea still persists to-day, when it is quite unrealistic. They get no capital grants and their equipment has to be bought out of income, and a pretty meagre income it is. They lack very large industrial support, they lack good staff, and they lack money. There is a big element of the chicken and the egg in this problem. If they have not got good equipment and good staff, industry will not use them and will not subscribe to them. If industry does not subscribe to them the Government will not support them. But they are a tremendously valuable source of co-operative research, particularly for small companies; and do not let us forget that 73 per cent. of the companies of this country employ under 100 employees and 96 per cent. employ under 1,000 employees.

So it is sad to see that in 1960 the income of the 52 research associations was under £8 million, and the Government's contribution £1.8 million. It seems to me to be a tragedy, this small effort for collaborative research, and I believe there is an urgent need for a stimulus, even accepting that some risks will have to be taken. I would suggest that the D.S.I.R. should make grants not only for capital purposes, but on a much more generous scale. We should remove any maximum grant that the Government are to make to D.S.I.R. and we should start an inquiry into research associations to see just why industrial support is so limited and whether perhaps we could make some economies by amalgamating some of the small research associations.

Then we come to industry, where 57 per cent. of the total research and development of the country is done. There is a splendid stimulus there from competition, but, as I have already mentioned, there is a danger of too severe competition reducing the margin below what is necessary to support research and development. Large groups and large companies usually have adequate resources but they have some special difficulties in communications, in avoiding duplication and in preventing their qualified professional men from getting bogged down in routine administration, fact-finding and the like. I believe there is quite a field there for improvement in management techniques and the use of modern computers to help us get full benefit out of the professionally trained staff and resources that we have.

Further, I am quite sure that we should try to provide better opportunities, not only financial but in the wider field of responsibility, so that qualified men can see their way to the top; better opportunities for first-class men. Give them freedom; give them good equipment so that they will not feel that they have to go to the United States to find it. The Royal Society, I believe, have set in hand an investigation into the reasons for the drift of academic staff. Perhaps industry ought to do the same for its own.

In the smaller companies there are different difficulties. They cannot support adequate central research development; hence the importance of the research associations to which I referred; hence, also, the tremendous importance of adequate technical library facilities. There has been quite a big increase in the membership of the Association of Industrial Libraries—some 2½ times in ten years. But still not nearly high enough a proportion of the small companies are members of it, to take advantage of the important information that is available. Clearly, more propaganda is required in this field.

Then, lastly, there are the Government establishments and nationalised industries. There are two types of Government establishments: those that concentrate principally on defence work and those which concentrate mainly on civil work. I must resist the temptation to discuss the problems of making the best use of technical staff on defence; that is a more appropriate subject for a defence debate. But in this connection it is, I think, fair to say the objective must be to get value for money in defence, so that we do not waste technical manpower which is sorely needed in industry. We must use the knowledge, so far as security permits, in industry and we must make effective arrangements in defence for the switch of effort to civil requirements when defence requirements change.

And then, the Government civil establishments; the N.P.L., the Mechanical and Engineering Laboratory, the Hydraulics Research Laboratory, Road Research Laboratory, and several others, are all doing magnificent work. I doubt whether full use is made of their knowledge for industry. I wonder what steps are taken to avoid duplication and, perhaps even more important, to avoid going on with work when the effort should more appropriately be switched to meet changing needs.

And then, there are the nationalised industries, rather a new factor in this situation during the last fifteen years. They are usually monopolies, so competition does not control the use of technical manpower. It is especially difficult in those cases to determine what is the right level of research and development. I wonder whether Her Majesty's Government are satisfied that the right level and the right kind of work is being done in those industries, for they are certainly absorbing quite a big scale of technical effort. There is some danger, I think, as I have said before, that there is duplication with private industry.

I have kept your Lordships too long already, but the impression I have is of a vast scale of research and development work going on, but more is needed and resources are limited. The economic use of what we have is vital, though perhaps we could do more to review what duplication there is and to seek out what gaps exist. We must have a flexible policy so that we can reorientate our efforts as need changes. I wonder whether the noble Viscount who will reply would like to say whether he feels that the Advisory Council for Scientific Policy, that eminent body of men, and very busy men as well, is an adequate body to review our scientific policy; whether there should not be perhaps a sub-committee of it or permanent staff, a larger permanent technical staff in his own Department, which could carry on this important work continuously. I believe, too, that a new outlook is needed throughout the country in industry and Government services to the use of experienced, qualified men.

Now I hope I have given some indication of the importance and value of the scientific approach and the need for the economic use of our technical resources, but I should not like to leave the impression that technical success is the only thing which is needed for our prosperity and greatness. Certainly it is a necessary condition to which too little importance has been attached. Equally important to our survival as a great nation are the old virtues of courage, honesty, service, hard work and perhaps, above all, the need for a higher purpose than mere material prosperity. But I have ventured to take up your Lordships' time this afternoon because I believe this subject is one of real importance to our economic strength and where we must make greater use of our technical manpower if we are to be successful in this hard, competitive world. My Lords, I beg to move for Papers.

3.10 p.m.

LORD SHACKLETON had given Notice of his intention to call attention to the Report of the Committee on Scientific Manpower (Cmnd. 1490); and to move for Papers. The noble Lord said: My Lords, I should first of all like to congratulate the noble Viscount, Lord Caldecote, on an extremely interesting exposition of a matter which I am quite sure in the future we shall have to devote a goad deal of time to debating in this House. I should like to express my appreciation to him for agreeing to allow me to join my Motion to his, which also, I am happy to say, has the support of the noble Viscount the Leader of the House. My Motion on the Order Paper is concerned with the Report of the Statistics Committee of the Committee on Scientific Manpower of the Advisory Council on Scientific Policy. I apologise, but those are the three bodies whose names appear at the top of this paper, The Long-Term Demand for Scientific Manpower. It is, of course, completely relevant to the matters that the noble Viscount has been talking to us about. I hope that those of your Lordships who have not yet had a chance to look at this document will do so, because it is of profound importance—and I am sure the noble Viscount, Lord Hailsham, will agree it is of profound importance—to the future of this country.

I would first say some kindly things, to congratulate the Committee who produced it on undertaking so successfully as they have an exceedingly difficult job. But though it is a very useful exercise, there are great dangers, and those dangers spring to some extent from the amount of success which has been achieved in increasing the supply of technologists and scientists; and I think this is a matter on which the noble Viscount is entitled to a good deal of satisfaction. When we look at the figures, we find that five years ago the annual output of scientists and technologists was 11,000; now it has risen to 16,000, a rise of 50 per cent. in about five or six years. The figure of 20,000 which was originally forecast for 1970 will now apparently be attained some time during the year 1964–65, and the total output of new scientists and technologists will, by 1970, have gone up to 27,000 and by 1975 to 30,000.

My Lords, you may find it slightly distasteful to talk about output of manpower as if it were output of machine tools, and this is a criticism which can be made of the Report to which I shall return, although I think it is very worth while sitting back and taking a look of this sort. May I continue to give the figures, which are rather staggering? The figure of scientists and technologists in this country in 1959 was estimated at 173,000 and it is estimated that by 1975 the figure will go up to very nearly half a million—460,000-which again represents a 2½ to 3 times increase. I hope I have done my sums right; this particular sum was not done by the statisticians engaged on the Report.

The achievement of these targets depends, of course, on the success of the training, the expansion of schools, and the provision of places in universities and colleges of advanced technology. There is no doubt that a tremendous effort must be made, as I am sure the noble Viscount will agree, if we are to achieve these very considerable targets. Unfortunately, this Report does not help to this end, and I shall try to show why. Indeed, it has been received with expressions of fear and anxiety by large numbers of scientists and others writing in newspapers and elsewhere. I have talked with some and I have corresponded with some, and words such as "catastrophic in effect" have been used on a number of occasions. I have a letter here speaking about "dismay", and even one who defends the Report regards it as "a disaster in public relations". I shall try to show why, and why it is so important that we should try to undo the damage that I think may already have been done by the publication of this Report.

Again, I fully accept the difficulties that confronted the Committee and I do not in any way wish to condemn them at all for the publication of this Report. But it is for consideration—and I shall return to this—as to whether its publication ought not to have been held up until the Advisory Council on Scientific Policy had taken a rather longer look than they were able to do. I say it is dangerous because of the kind of conclusions, despite all the qualifications, that the papers have picked up, that already the schools and the public at large have picked up. There is, for example, the estimate that in four years' time Britain's supply of scientists and technologists will be broadly in balance with demand while in ten years' time there is likely to be a significant surplus of scientists, if not of technologists. All the qualifications and explanations of the Committee are lost against this simple statement, and I shall attempt to show why I think we have to be very cautious in dealing with this matter.

There is one small criticism I should like to make concerning something inherent in the difficulties of preparing this Report, and that is the comparison of like with like in the attempt to balance supply with demand. The Report speaks of excluding certain groups of technology and science. They have excluded medical scientists, agricultural scientists and social scientists, but one would assume that the demand for scientists would in fact be on the same basis as the supply, and I fail to see how they have in fact been able—and perhaps the noble Viscount can answer this—to exclude certain scientists. Large numbers of scientists engaged in medical work are in fact not primarily qualified medical men. This is true of many of these institutions in the country, and the same may be true of other fields such as that of the social scientists where, in fact, the basic workers may be anthropologists. I do not know whether anthropologists are included or not. Those are small factors, but I mention them to illustrate the difficulty in this type of statistical exercise.

I do not want to dwell too long on the section of the Report that deals with the supply of qualified manpower. I would mention only one important matter, and that is that there is no distinction in this Report between quality and quantity; it is an entirely quantitative Report. Of course, when we look at the movement into industry, and at particular Indus- tries, we shall find that where figures of, say, technologists may be broadly similar the actual qualifications of those technologists may not be anything like the same. I do not wish to suggest that those who qualify as technologists by obtaining higher national certificates and subsequent entry into a professional body are not very well qualified for their job, but they are not necessarily (and I say no more than that) as highly qualified as a man with an honours degree or a diploma in technology.

There is one interesting point about the supply of scientists, and that is that in calculating the inflow of newly qualified scientists and technologists we find that a large proportion of the total stock—and again I apologise for using these words I am sure it bothers the noble Lord, Lord Conesford—is younger, and therefore wastage from death is less; and, further, the death rate of scientists and technologists is lower than the standard rate. I do not know whether this means that the noble Earl, Lord Halsbury, and others who are scientists are naturally going to live longer, or whether it is merely an indicator of what might be called middle-class living standards.

But there is a consequence of this: they will all die one day and the wastage at that time will increase greatly, and instead of being only something of the order of 1 per cent. per year it will rise to 3 per cent. This is a problem that will arise rather more in the latter part of the century, certainly after 1970. There is, too, the loss through emigration. This is balanced to some extent by a gain through immigration. But I want to deal with that in more detail when I come to the question of quality, because I think there is strong reason to believe that we are losing some of our best young scientific manpower, and that is may not necessarily be matched by the very welcome movement into this country.

The most controversial aspect of this Report is the calculation for demand. Here the Statistics Committee have obviously done everything they can to find out what that demand is. In the last Report the Committee on Scientific Manpower calculated the demand for scientists to move broadly in line with the increase in production in this country, and they assumed that this increase would go on at a rate of 4 per cent. per annum. When they found in fact that 4 per cent. per annum was nothing like the increase that was obtained—I refrain from making a Party point at this moment—the Committee realised it was rather a bad basis. They have now moved to another basis, which is an attempt to find out from industry or Government, or wherever the users are, what they think their demands will be. I would make only one comment at this point—namely, that if productivity is not going to move to some degree in line with the inflow of new scientists and technologists into industry and research, the only effect will be that goods will cost more or, if they cost less, there will be a greater degree of under-utilisation of manpower; and, indeed, although I hesitate to use the word "unemployment", it must be a corollary of the inflow of scientists and technologists into industry and into the country's research establishments that there will be a great increase in productivity, otherwise the whole proposition becomes rather a dubious one. That means that they will have to have the equivalent capacity in establishments and research facilities to do the job that they are being trained for. This, again, is going to cost more in manpower than is matched by an improvement in production.

To turn to the calculation of supply and demand, we find that some of the estimates can be reasonably regarded as, if not accurate, at least of a satisfactory order of magnitude. For instance, we have the figures of the airways corporations who plan their development and expansion far ahead. They reckon that they will need about an extra 50 per cent. of qualified men—and when I talk of "qualified men" I stress again that I am talking, as the Report does, purely in terms of scientists and technologists. They calculate that they will need another 50 per cent. in another ten years' time. But when we turn on to other industries, we find the figures are much more uncertain.

When we look at the increase of qualified manpower in chemicals and mineral oil refining, we find that at the present moment the figures are about 4 per cent. —about 40 per 1,000 of men employed are qualified. The best in that industry, according to the Report and according to people I have talked to in Imperial Chemical Industries and other industries, is somewhere around 8 per cent.; and the Committee assume that the less efficient firms will be forced, by competition or in one way or another, to increase their requirements of scientists and technologists up to the level of the best. But they also assume, for reasons that I have been unable to fathom, that the best will not increase their requirements. Certain expressions of opinion have been made by certain firms in industry—that once they are "manned up", even a big technical breakthrough will not call for a greater demand for scientists and technologists.

Some to whom I have talked in industry, particularly in the chemical and oil refining field, do not agree with this. They expect their demand for scientific and technological manpower to increase quite considerably in the next ten years. This is a factor which straight away makes the figures that are recorded here of rather a doubtful kind. I am sorry to go so deeply into these rather complex statistical matters, but they are fundamental to the conclusions that have been reached in the Report. There are similar figures for an increase of demand for scientists and technologists in electrical engineering, including electronics. They calculate that their demand will go up from 22 per 1,000 to 40 per 1,000.

These figures may sound reasonable, but when we turn to shipbuilding, ship-repairing and marine engineering, where we know in fact that there is a low utilisation of scientific manpower, an assumption is made which seems to me to be of the wildest kind: that because it is so low and because there is a lot of talk in the industry, they are going to require five times as many as they have at the moment, as compared with the twice as many required in the much more technological industry, electrical engineering, and indeed the nil increase, or rather the small increase, forecast in the chemical and mineral oil industries. When we look at these calculations I think we are forced to say that, valuable though this exercise is and well worth while though it is making a try, the answer is simply not yet to be found. It is dangerous. I hope that the Minister for Science will make the matter clear, if this Report is accepted, with, as I say, all its qualifications, that at the present stage there is an assumption that, for instance, the total figures are given of the percentage of employment as between Government and industry and the public corporations. I simply do not believe them, and I doubt very much whether the Committee themselves, looking at the matter now, would look at them with any certainty.

There is another aspect that I should like to look at—namely, the comparison of qualified manpower with the United States. In the middle of the Report are figures which suggest that if you add technicians to technologists or scientists, the present ratios in industry as between this country and the United States are not far apart. This might be thought to be a matter for congratulation. But the depressing fact is that American scientific and technological manpower is, to that extent, much more highly educated than ours, and even if we deduct a figure which is given, of about 20 per cent, who are held not to be up to British standards, the fact still remains that the present ratio in the United States is 3.4 per cent, to our 1.1 per cent. and our 2 per cent. if we achieve the target in 1970.

Both the United States and Russia are at the moment enormously increasing their output of scientists and technologists. The noble Viscount, I think, in his speech last year, gave figures which suggested that the American output as compared with that of this country was six times as many for qualified engineers, and for scientists eighteen times as many, although the population is only three-and-a-half times as great. Similar figures are available for Russia. Their output is thirteen times that of ours, though their population is only four times greater than ours. My Lords, what I wish to urge at this point is that this country, lacking to a very great extent the raw material resources of these vast countries, has as its chief resource its own manpower, and it is of profound importance that, if we are going to think in competitive terms in this world, and we are forced to do so, we should achieve very much better results than the rest of the world are achieving if we are to keep level.

Against this there is the further factor that, as I say, we are losing quite a lot of highly qualified scientific manpower. This is a figure which is sometimes debated, and it is difficult to know precisely how long they stay, but there is no doubt that scientists anxious to pursue their science are not necessarily lured by higher salaries or even better living conditions; they are lured by the enormously better facilities for research in America. It is a simple fact that the scientist wants to do his science; he does not just want to, be a scientist or to live well. If he is able to do research and finds greater opportunities, as we are told on all sides that he can do in America, then we are going to lose him. We may lose the scientists in greater numbers as the pressure to take British scientists over to other countries, and particularly to America, increases. This makes me doubt again whether this type of quantitive approach to the supply of scientific manpower, in such a complex field where there are so many variables, is really worth the effort.

When we look at this question of quality, it can be argued that the output of really top scientists cannot be increased beyond the intelligence of the nation, and there is no suggestion that the congenital factor can necessarily be improved, although even that is a possibility in the future. But I doubt whether at the moment all those who are capable of being top scientists are, in fact, having the opportunity. This is not a reflection on the opportunity in terms of facility to get to the university, but there are still such strong traditions in our schools. The teaching of science is still relatively worse in a number of schools than the teaching of the humanities, and as a result some children, at any rate, who might be going into science, are going into the humanities. You may think that that is no bad thing, and the last thing I should wish to do would be to wipe out the teaching of the humanities; but I am urging that in this competitve world we have greatly to increase our supply of scientists, and we cannot afford at the moment to lose any who might be capable of achieving the highest level in scientific research.

I have another criticism of this Report or, shall I say, of the presentation of this Report without adequate comments from the Advisory Council. There is no provision for the all-important export of scientists and technologists to backward countries. I do not know how the Department of Technical Cooperation is going to get on. I should like to ask the noble Viscount whether he can tell us how many scientists and technologists they have already had on their payroll, or in any way working for them. But if we were to be content with these conclusions, I think quite seriously—and this has been argued by many scientists and others—that, in fact, we should fail to meet this particular need; and on the great subject which was debated last week, the conflict of rival ideologies, we shall lose, in the sense that we shall not be able to play our particular part in the most valuable way that we can.

I would turn very briefly again to the conclusions of this Report, so that there can be no misunderstanding of the effect that it is having. Paragraph 75 says: On the assumptions we have made, and subject to these reservations"— and there are many— we conclude that the overall"— if your Lordships like that word— supply and demand for qualified manpower will not be very much out of balance at the end of the first five years of the decade 1960–70. If anything, a slight shortage of technologists will be balanced by a slight surplus of scientists; any possible divergence of supply by which I presume they mean excess— and demand comes into the second five years.

The Committee on Scientific Manpower, at the beginning of the Report, qualify this in a number of ways. They welcome it, but they basically accept this conclusion. They say that it will come as a surprise. My Lords, it does come as a surprise. It comes as such a surprise that, when one looks at the figures, one must say again, I think, that we are not entitled to accept this conclusion at all; and, as the Committee on Scientific Manpower make clear, if there is a possibility that there will be a surplus of scientists over demands for employment, this is, in fact, a thoroughly good thing. At last we shall have a supply of manpower for administration and the professions generally.

Here I should like to come to what is, perhaps, one of the weakest points.

The Committee say that in the same way as only a proportion of those trained in the classics and history have expected to find employment in their own fields…an increasing proportion of those trained in specialised scientific disciplines will obtain employment outside them. My Lords, I regard that as a pretty negative statement. There is a profound need for this type of knowledge and training to be available in industry. Some of the most successful industrialists in this country—and there are one or two of them who sit in this House—had a scientific or technological training, but still it is generally regarded as reserved for those who have been trained in the humanities. The effect on the nature of our society of the idea that scientists and technologists should do science and technology only, is a very dangerous one.

At the present moment, I do not know how many of your Lordships' House are qualified in science—I certainly am not, and the noble Viscount certainly is not. In the Russian Presidium 39 out of 67 are qualified, and your Lordships may say, "Look at the results!" But, my Lords, one thing they are achieving is enormous miracles in expansion, and I do not believe that scientists and technologists, looking at those of your Lordships in this House who are so qualified, are any less humane or any less literate than those of us who have been trained in other fields. I would say, without any hesitation, that there is no reason why a zoologist should not make as good a personnel manager as somebody with a degree in Greats.

There is, of course, a great need for more scientists and engineers in making use of new techniques, management, operational research and all these other techniques, and the truth of the matter is that we still have no idea of what is our need in this respect, nor do we know what other scientific needs may arise from an industrial point of view in the next few years. There may be some colossal enterprise making heavy demands on skilled manpower. Leaving aside the space research programme, it is quite possible, to take an example, that somebody might reckon that there was a large supply of natural gas under the North Sea which would make a big demand on technical manpower and be of considerable help to our balance-of-payments situation. There is the problem of supersonic aircraft, and there may be, again, some fundamental development like the direct generation of electricity. Also, this Report again makes no reference, as it makes clear, to the lack of balance between certain specialisations in science and technology.

My Lords, who could have said in 1937 that we should want a total number of 175,000 scientists in 1970? The danger of this Report is that it has already been read and misunderstood. About two or three years ago there was a comment, I think in one of the Advisory Council's Reports, that there was likely 'to be a surplus of biologists. This had a disastrous effect. It was reflected in the universities, and it went right down to the schools. Indeed, to-day in some fields there is a most serious shortage of biologists. My Lords, I wonder how many schoolmasters and parents to-day are wondering whether, after all, science and technology is such a good bet for little Johnnie as they thought, and whether the arts and humanities are not still the safest line in the approach to management and the more interesting jobs. The Government have achieved very considerable success by their planning in this field, and I hope they are now beginning to think beyond 1970 and 1975. But I hope we shall hear from the noble Viscount an expression which will make it quite clear that, in his opinion, if it is so, we have no reason to assume that there will in fact be a surplus of this vital scientific and technological manpower.

My Lords, I do not wish to attack the Government because I know that the noble Viscount is trying to pursue his duties as Minister for Science on a non-Party basis, but he will be aware of the serious criticism that is emerging now. There has been correspondence in The Times for quite a while, and there is a letter which he will have seen to-day from Professor Haddow making many of the points to which I have referred. My Lords, this is fundamental, as the noble Viscount, Lord Caldecote, said, to our exports and to our scientific advance, not for material reasons but for other reasons. I hope that when the Minister for Science comes to reply, even though he may not be able to relieve our anxieties, he will at least slow that he is as aware of them as are many of the scientists in this country.

3.43 p.m.


My Lords, it is with diffidence that I speak on this important and timely Motion from this Bench. My excuse, if I need one, is that I have lived and worked all my life in industrial communities. If I underline some of the things which were said by the noble Viscount, Lord Caldecote, in his admirable survey I do not think that will come amiss. In this country we may pride ourselves, not unfairly, on our inheritance of political experience and wisdom, and on the moral and spiritual value underlying it. But the world being as the world is, our continuing influence in it will depend upon our economic health and prosperity. This economic health and prosperity depends, in industry, not only on good human relationships, mutual trust and frank co-operation amongst all the partners, but also on technical competence and readiness to accept and use quickly what science and technology are providing.

I believe it is true to say that our people are better than the average at getting on together, and they certainly are allergic to ideologies. Consequently, bad relationships arise more often from the sense of frustration caused by inefficiency and comparatively poor results than from clashes of ideologies or of personalities. It was once said to me, long ago now, of an elderly man with whom I was asked to work, that he rarely saw a new idea but when he did he hated it. Such obfuscation, my Lords, is not confined to the episcopate: it sometimes afflicts boards of directors, departmental managers, trade unionists or, indeed, politicians; and I am not so sure that it is not one of the less happy characteristics of our sometimes insular mentality which we must get rid of these days.

There are two criticisms which I hear very widely expressed by men who know at first hand what they are talking about, and one has seen grounds for them with one's own amateur eyes. The charge has been that the British lack, not the vision to conceive, but often a means to execute and exploit. Our industrial history is unpleasantly full of examples of British inventions which became economically viable through foreign commercial enterprise. To put that more concretely I would quote these words: Comparatively few new industrial processes have gone from initial idea, laboratory-bench scale to full-size application in the last fifty years in this country in spite of our richness in initial ideas and in laboratory work in fundamental sciences. This inevitably causes costs to be higher than those of our industrial competitors. My Lords, if that is a true appraisal—and it comes from a competent scientist—it implies that management is too often averse to experiment and is reluctant to try out a new idea or technique until it has been tested in another country. "Wait and see", they say—but things are moving far faster today than when Asquith made that ill-timed remark. Only last week the head of a university department told me that, in order to get a process tried out on a larger scale than was possible in a university laboratory, he had to take it to a steel works in Germany.

On a rather different level, many of the more intelligent men working on the shop floor of industry make a similar complaint of out-of-date methods from their own experience. This apparent reluctance within certain industries to welcome and use the results of applied science and to fob off these gifted and devoted exponents with compliments is extraordinarily frustrating and, as has been said already, sends some of them overseas. If that is so, for the nation it is sheer loss. I therefore ask the question: what can be done about it? Of course, experiments are bound to be costly and they cannot always succeed. As an amateur, one wonders whether it is not here that firms comprising a big industry should co-operate and possibly have a Goverment subsidy. Is it not also very desirable, by multiplying our training courses, to make the mentality of the lower ranks of management more supple than it very often is? Anyway, it is true, in every department of life, is it not, that success in life is not achieved by those who are easily halted by fear of failure?

The second criticism, which is also widespread, is this. As has been said, an increasing number of firms are building research units. Rightly or wrongly, one is frequently told that the work done in them hardly merits the word "research". The qualified men who staff them are often confined to very elementary work; they too rarely get the encouragement of seeing their experiments become operational. The reverse side of that is that well qualified technologists, and so on, are drawn away by high salaries from teaching in schools and colleges, and even from research and teaching in universities, to do work which is of less importance. If that is so, the remedy is obviously not to close the research unit, but to make better use of it. Might there not also be a better use of this kind of manpower, which is bound to be limited, if more firms have a combined research unit?

There is also another conclusion to be drawn. Generally speaking—and this is bound to happen—the universities attract the brightest boys and girls from our schools, but to what extent are they being encouraged to study applied science and technology and to go into industry? There is prejudice against this which still lingers, and for this, people like myself, who study the arts and the humanities, are no doubt a good deal to blame. I remember another gentleman with whom I once worked—he had been a university don—exclaiming, when Sir Charles Parsons, the inventor of turbines, was given an honorary degree: "Why, he could not have passed Responsions!" That was 40 years ago, and Responsions required a major in Greek. Anyway, this prejudice against knowledge applied to life still lingers, I think, right through our society, and even in industry.

I also ask, to what extent is industry—not the chosen few, but industry by and large—looking to the universities for its recruits, and not only for its research units and technicians but for management? After all, it must be rather a "poor do" for first-rate technologists in the employ of industry if those at the top who make the decisions do not really understand technology itself. And, lower down the ranks, what about the training of youths and foremen? Your Lordships had an informative debate on training in industry some time ago, if I remember rightly, and while some industries (I will not mention which) are taking training very seriously indeed, the overall picture presented in this House was not too good. One might also ask the question, what are the Government doing to improve it?

This leads me to my last point, which perhaps I can make more appropriately. There are a great many people in my profession, and in other professions, who look with considerable dread at the arrival of a technological age. There are three things which comfort me about that. Before I come to them, may I just say that, after the war in Germany, a technician in our Control Commission said to me of his Russian opposite number: "Oh, yes, he is a decent chap, good on his particular subject, but outside of it his mind seems to be a complete vacuum, quite adolescent." The anxiety of some, therefore, is this: if the drive in education and life is concentrated upon applied science and technology, and the technician becomes king, what in 30 years' time will be the standard of political intelligence and culture, and what about the care of the things of the spirit, which we all value? For these are things which a totalitarian State may be able to dispense with, but which a free democracy cannot dispense with. Is the choice confronting us in education, and in the nation's economy, an "either/or"—a choice between a highly developed technological education, and the humanities—or is there a way through?

As I say, I think there are three comforting factors. Fifteen years ago a French worker priest who was conscripted into Germany along with other French workers wrote this: You must have been a manual worker to understand matter in all its beauty, its mystery, and its living quality. There need be no surprise that there is a working class mentality and way of thinking that will always be foreign to philosophers and men of learning. I believe that is true. I believe it is also true that Western culture has, perhaps, been too much influenced by the classical tradition, and not enough by the Hebrew biblical one. I remind myself anew that the great men in the Bible lived very close to nature, and if not manual workers, they were the next thing to them. There is a culture learned by skill of hand and team manipulation that possibly is not learned in any other way. I hope it will not be lost when automation and machine minding take the place of manual work and craftsmanship. Anyway, I am quite sure that, as a community, we have to value more highly, not less, applied science and technology, and to honour the technicians, even if they work without collars and with dirty hands.

My second comforting thought is that it is very desirable that technologists, and even technicians, should be trained in the universities, for there they could rub their minds against those who are pursuing other subjects. When our universities recover, as recover they will, from the temporary pressure of over rapid growth and can become truer to their name than some of them are at the moment, then staff and students alike can enjoy that quality of culture that comes through relaxed discussion and meeting across the frontiers of specialisation and vocational studies. I add that I think it is extraordinarily desirable that there should be more of this kind of getting together and getting away' from vocational gossip in colleges of advanced technology, as well as an element of liberal studies so related to their vocational purpose as to hold the attention of the students.

My last point is that I do not believe that we shall lose our cultural heritage while the Church continues to exercise a civilising influence in society. It is an astonishing fact that that harsh event—the Cross—has exercised a more humanising influence down the centuries than even the Renaissance of learning. And in a technological age those who believe in things of the spirit must not let themselves be tempted to become escapists and pietists and too ecclesiastically domesticated. It lies with the laity of the Church just as much as with its ordained ministry to carry into secular life, to penetrate and enrich it, those truths and values which refresh and exalt the life of man in every age, past and future.

4.3 p.m.


My Lords, it is with some trepidation and not a little emotion that I rise to address your Lordships for the first time. I have waited for the opportunity of finding a subject of debate to which I felt I could usefully contribute from my own experience, and perhaps this is the moment. I have been impressed with the level of your Lordships' speeches, made by men who have devoted a lifetime of service to the nation, and if I do not rise to that high level, to which I fear I shall not, I trust that your Lordships will bear with me. It takes some time for a newcomer to adapt himself to the spirit and traditions of your Lordships' House, which go so far back in time of history. In my case, my difficulties have been overcome by the guidance and the welcome advice I have received from some of my noble friends.

The noble Viscount, Lord Caldecote, has done a public service in focusing attention on the importance of a scientific approach to research and development in industry so as to enable our exports to compete effectively in the changing conditions of world trade. The Motion, I feel sure, will find general agreement. The emphasis is on exports, and I feel that it would be more helpful in this discussion if I narrowed down my remarks to the ever-pressing problem of increasing exports, in particular of consumers' good such as are bought by the public in the shops of the world. It is a world with which I am familiar.

It cannot be denied that more resources should be available for research and development, but first should not a few questions be asked? Are manufacturers taking full advantage of existing scientific research and knowledge in order to raise the level of their own productivity of the right goods? How can manufacturers be encouraged to modernise their plants in order to increase their productivity? And thirdly, how can Government help? For industry, applied research is most important, as management must concern themselves with the kind of goods they wish to export and how to improve their goods by raising standards in quality, design and performance, and still be competitive in price. The search for better raw materials, better methods of manufacture and better values is a never-ending task.

There is no doubt that the impact upon industry of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research is exercising an increasingly important influence upon our economy. We have been told that there are some fifty cooperative research associations, whose work is partly financed from the D.S.I.R. and partly from industry—probably not enough from industry. They serve a wide section of industry in many fields. It is estimated that they cover some two-thirds of our national production. These associations possess a unique store of accumulated knowledge of techniques, from which industrialists can draw if they will. Many new and desirable developments are available, but they must be investigated by inquiring minds. Many firms of importance owe their success to the commercial application of research in their own field. But are there not far too many important firms who have not yet appreciated the importance of availing themselves of new techniques and new processes which have already been worked for their particular industry?

If we are to increase our exports substantially, management must keep abreast of research in their own fields, which relates to their needs and to the needs of their customers, and apply that knowledge to up-grading their goods. This is a problem. Just as all firms need accountants, so do many firms need scientific advisers to guide them through the mass of scientific and technical papers which have to be studied to help formulate their requirements. Dr. Hill, the Director of the Shirley Institute stated: If the textile industry took advantage of all the techniques offered by British research it would be as good as any in the world. I feel sure that the directors of many other research associations would confirm this experience. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research stated in their annual report on the activities of the D.S.I.R.: We are very conscious that the research and development with which we are concerned in the main can only be justified if it results in improved production of all kinds. Thus, one of the greatest single difficulties which confronts us is the dissemination of research information among the industries of the country. This difficulty arises not simply from the mechanics of making information available, which are difficult in themselves, but also because in industry there are many small and medium-sized firms which remain unaware of the nature and the amount of information at their disposal and often do not recognise the problems which face them. In the quest for desirable quality goods and greater productivity, research may have to be supplemented, or should be supplemented, by a policy of modernisa- tion of plants in the factories. Spectacular advances have been made in new machinery, and particularly in the application of electronic controls of production processes.

There is already much information available in existing research organisations which, if followed up with vigour, would enable many more industries to operate more efficiently, particularly for the export field. The management of some sections of industry are still not aware of the help which modern technology can offer. Mechanisation on a large scale and automation or part automation have now become realities in quite a number of factories making consumer goods and foodstuffs. Only a few years ago these methods were not even thought to be applicable to their particular business. In these factories production costs have been reduced in a most startling way, and their competitive strength has grown enormously. In my own experience, I have witnessed some quite remarkable developments, and I am satisfied that this is one of the directions in which industry must go if it is to be competitive in the world markets. Not four miles from your Lordships' House there is a factory, fully automated, producing millions of pounds of biscuits. The manpower involved is so small that the labour costs have been reduced by over 80 per cent. There is an item which can be exploited all over the world. If any of your Lordships would like to see such a factory in action, I have no doubt it can be arranged. It has to be seen to be believed.

The problem is how to stimulate and encourage manufacturers to invest in new plant, so essential to the continuous improvement of their productivity and goods. Greater investments are, of course, involved. Here the Government can help; and it is satisfactory to note that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in a speech on November 7, considered that the question of depreciation and allowances deserved examination, and said that it was being done. Perhaps an improvement in the initial allowance for depreciation is advisable. Can rates of depreciation he speeded up? Would not obsolete plant be replaced more quickly if greater investment allowances were made? These are problems which will face the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and I hope he will meet them sympathetically.

I now come to another point where the Government might be able to help. It has been a "bee in my bonnet" that the proliferation of papers seems to have a damping effect upon industries, and maybe on the Government, too. The costs of administration throughout all Government Departments have grown year by year and are probably still growing. An examination would reveal that many complicated procedures and systems could be simplified and that many thousands of tons of paper could be found to be unnecessary. Tens of millions of pounds could be saved, and it might have the effect (at least, one would hope so) of reducing taxation in the course of time, a most desirable result for all of us. I will not expand on that theme now; it will have to wait for another opportunity.

In this world of fast-moving change another industrial revolution is taking place. Both management and labour must adjust themselves sooner or later to many inevitable changes. The study and the understanding of human relations in industry is more imperative than ever. Harmony in industry is an indispensable part of the drive to high productivity which will bring abundance to the people and once again raise their general standard of life.

4.20 p.m.


My Lords, it falls to me on your Lordships' behalf to express a word of congratulation to the noble Lord, Lord Marks of Broughton, who has just concluded his maiden speech. It is not so many months ago since I stood in the same position and, there-fore, I can appreciate his feeling of trepidation with which he addressed your Lordships' House. But I think we can assure him that so long as he bases his speech on the firm foundation of practical experience, as he has shown he has done this afternoon, his words will always be welcome in your Lordships' House.

My primary purpose in addressing your Lordships this afternoon is to support to the best of my ability the Motion which the noble Viscount, Lord Caldecote, has introduced on the subject of the best use of manpower and further research, particularly directed to export purposes. My first remark on the best use of manpower will be what I regard as a rather small one of a defensive nature. It is that many corporations and institutions in this country are sometimes charged with getting technical manpower and not using it to its full ability. They are charged with using a steam-hammer to a nut; sending a fully qualified university man as an office boy on an errand.

I should like to make it clear that, so far as my experience goes, while that charge is not fully and absolutely without foundation, it is of a very small nature, and I do not think that any material saving and better use of man-power would be attained in this country by following that particular line of investigation. Of far greater importance do I regard that vast amount of technically-trained men—and the Motion, I remind your Lordships, is dealing with technically trained manpower—who have come to technical training through apprenticeships. It is difficult to find the exact number of men so trained who are operating in this country now. I have endeavoured to the best of my ability to find it, and, if I may use a word of which I am sure your Lordships will not approve, I would "guesstimate" (meaning that it is a little more than a wide guess, but not so well based as the figures we see in the Annual Report of the Advisory Council which have already been referred to) that there are something of the order of 4 million to 4¼ million men in this country who have gone through a sound apprenticeship in technical training.

I would ask your Lordships to bear in mind that, as the years go on, technical training is being improved for three specific reasons. First of all, the general education of the young men who are coming and starting their apprenticeship is being improved all the time. Secondly, when once they start their apprenticeships they are gaining through the better apprentices' training schemes that are inaugurated throughout the country by well-meaning engineering and other technical firms, and, thirdly, there is the day release scheme, which is becoming greater and more used. It is true, of course, that there are only some 31 per cent. of the boys who are qualified to get day release who are yet achieving it. But it is growing, and that is another reason why this vast potential of trained people coming up through the apprenticeship scheme is of value to the country; and I suggest that so far it is not being fully used to the best of its ability.

Having gone through that training, these men, when they come into industry, are based on rules which at best were evolved in mid-Victorian times and at worst in the early days of the Industrial Revolution, and they have not had any experience of rules and regulations which have been tailored for an approaching Twenty-first Century, let alone tailored and made for a mid-Twentieth Century. So I appeal on the one hand to my noble friends in management and to trade unions on the other, to see whether they cannot come together to evolve ways and means of using this vast potential of well-trained people for better ideas in, and the better working of, our economy and our technology.

I come now to the technological institutions. I believe there are something over 150,000 people in technical institutions like the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, the Royal Institute of Chemistry, and so on. The majority of those, I have little doubt, are well occupied and there is little that we need say to-day for the better use of those men. But when we come to think of the top layer of these men, that is where I believe we can make great strides in the better use of our technical manpower. There would be no use in my telling your Lordships that we live in a technical age. We eat fertilised grains, we decorate ourselves with man-made fibres, we do all our calculations with computers, and we travel by special fuels. So we live in a technical age, and if we can only get the best of our technical men blending in with the best humanistic efforts, then I suggest that we shall make fuller and better use of our technically trained manpower.

That means, of course, more education still. They must be trained not only in the technologies, but also in the higher and better use of humanism and humanistic disciplines. That means, I am afraid, more overheads. A colleague of mine used to tell us to beware of the danger of incurring high costs by allowing our businesses to be run with low overheads. That is a grave danger, and we must be prepared to face up to the fact that if we want our industries to be well and properly run at the highest efficiency, then we must use manpower which not only has technical achievements and technical disciplines, but also is trained in the humanities.

Among the humanities I reckon of high importance is the science of psychology. That means we can get a tremendous amount of humanistic ideas into our technical institutions. Again, if I may use a rather student-day piece of language, we ought to be skilled in the art and science of painless extraction of work. If we can do that, then we can be leaders in our industry, and we can make a great deal of progress in our industry and in our technical developments.

Now I come to the second portion of the noble Viscount's Motion. He spoke of better efforts and more research, particularly in regard to export business. Research in this country and indeed in other places like North America, has been found very largely in its use in the best firms to run at about 3 per cent.—anything from 2½ per cent. to 3½ per cent.—of overheads. So far as one can find out, the amount of money spent on research usually comes back to this bracket of 2½ to 3½ per cent. It is interesting to note that in the Annual Report of the Advisory Council on Scientific Policy, who are dealing with research expenditure in this country, they come back to this figure of 2½ per cent. of the gross national product. It shows that, somehow or another, in the best and most advanced technical countries and technical institutions research runs at somewhere about that figure.

Now this figure, worked out as I think the noble Viscount, Lord Caldecote, has already said, means approximately £500 million in this country. Therefore, on the face of it, it looks as if this country was not doing too badly by working to this figure of about £500 million on a gross national product of something over £20,000 million per annum. But when we come to look at the figure in greater detail I suggest that the balance of expenditure is not satisfactory from an industrialist's point of view. As I listened to the noble Viscount, I was not able to balance up his figures, because my figure is that industry in this country spent between £120 million and £130 million. The noble Viscount gave a higher figure. Be that as it may, I think we have no dispute that the amount of money spent in defence research is something of the order of £234 million, and it is the balance between that sum and the amount of money spent on research for industrial purposes that, from an industrial point of view, we find to be somewhat unsatisfactory. Speaking, if I may, for industry, I should like to see a much better balance of those two figures in favour of industry.

That, of course, makes me support most heartily the part of the Motion by the noble Viscount where he wants more money to be spent on research, particularly for export purposes. In agreeing with him, I ask myself, and I ask your Lordships, just what is the direction in which we should spend that money, particularly to help export affairs. As I have every reason to believe that the research money that is already being expended is being spent on good and proper research for improved products, my answer must be that the spending of more money for export purposes should be directed towards those ancillary sections of industry such as packaging and distribution. That is the way in which we could spend money, and, I should hope, spend it effectively in producing more results in exports. But my main theme is that I am anxious that we should do all we can to secure the best use of our manpower; and I believe we can do this not by directing it solely to narrow, technical purposes but by using it blended with a good deal of humanism.

4.35 p.m.


My Lords, on the last occasion that I followed the noble Lord, Lord Fleck, it was my privilege to congratulate him from these Benches on his maiden speech. I should like now, if I may, to do the same to the noble Lord, Lord Marks of Broughton, to whom we all listened with very much interest. It has been said that the amount of wisdom and knowledge which is gathered together in your Lordships' House is sufficient to rival St. Michael and all his Angels. I think that the noble Lord, Lord Marks of Broughton, now shows us that St. Michael must look still further to his laurels. My only complaint, if I may make it with him, is that modesty prevented him from telling us possibly a little more of his own experience in the proper utilisation of scientific manpower, and I hope that on future occasions he will be rather less modest.

May I now turn to the Report which was the subject of Lord Shackleton's speech to your Lordships earlier on, the Report of the Committee on Scientific Manpower? As my noble friend has said, it is in its effect a most unfortunate Report because while those who read it carefully—and particularly, if I may say so, those who have had some form of earlier scientific training—realise that it is very properly hedged about with qualifications, the result to the ordinary reader and the public at large undoubtedly has been to make people believe that we have no need to worry about our supply of scientific manpower in the future, and that by 1970 we shall have all the scientists and technologists that this country needs. Well, nothing could be more unfortunate than that and nothing, I am certain, could be further from the truth. I am very glad to see that the noble Lord, Lord Adrian, is in his place this afternoon, and although his name is not on the list of speakers I hope that what has been said may tempt him to speak and to add his unrivalled weight in support of this fact. I hope, also, as my noble friend has said, that the noble and learned Viscount, when he replies, will also, if he agrees with us, make this point very clear indeed.

I do not want to go over the ground which has already been covered so ably by previous speakers, but there is just one point which I should like to underline. It is that, regardless of the fact that in the opinion of many of us we shall not, by 1970, have even sufficient scientists to cover the direct needs of industry for scientists and technologists—and we should bear in mind more closely the figures which my noble friend Lord Shackleton quoted from this document on the comparison of the use we make and are likely to make of scientists with that made in the United States—the importance of scientific training in the widest sense for people who are not going to be scientists cannot be over-emphasised.

There are, as my noble friend has already said, some Members of your Lordships' House and some leaders of industry who have had such a training. I think the noble and learned Viscount from his own experience will probably be able to say that there are some prominent civil servants who have had a scientific training and have risen to great heights in their own service. But there are very few of them, not enough of them; and even in the past, before we entered into the scientific age, those people were of invaluable help in whatever walk of life they took up. Now, as science in all its aspects is becominig increasingly important to us, surely we should have a far greater number of people with the basic understandings of scientific methods and a certain amount of scientific expertise of their own who will not restrict themselves solely to research, who will not only be scientists and technologists but who will take charge of the far wider destinies of the industrial and political and official life of this country. Without going any more into details about that, I sincerely hope that it will be recognised, as a result of this debate, that we need to-day to train an increasing number of scientists at all levels and that by 1970 we shall still be a very long way from saturation.

There is one particular point that the noble Viscount, Lord Caldecote, made (there were many points he made with which I was in complete agreement) which I should like to follow up. The noble Lord, Lord Marks of Broughton, also mentioned it. That is the part played by the research associations in our applied scientific advances. We have many of them in all sorts of industries and the work that they do is of very great importance. But the work that they do would be of far greater importance if only industry realised the help that could be given and if only industry—and I believe that industry should do this far more than Government—supported them financially.

I will give your Lordships one example. The Welding Research Association in this country employs a staff of approximately 200 people, only 56 of whom have a university degree or the equivalent. In the Soviet Union these is one institute at Leningrad employing 500 people, there is one institute at Kiev employing 1,300 people, and there are six other institutes throughout the Soviet Union, all concentrating solely on research in welding. That is an indication, surely, of the scope that there is for doing these jobs and of the enormous need there is in this country if we are to—I would like to say "keep our place" but possibly I should say regain our place industrially. That is an indication of the amount of progress that we should make in applying research to industry, and, of course, to go back to my earlier point, in training still more scientists, a number far and away above the figure which has been quoted in this Report that we are now discussing.


My Lords, will my noble friend permit me to intervene for one moment on this question of welding? Could he say whether there is not a substantial volume of research done by the major firms on their own apart from the Research Association? I want to try to get a valid comparison between what he is saying about us and about the Soviet Union. The Research Association tend to do it for the smaller firms, but to be absolutely fair one should include the research by large firms, which in the Soviet Union might be done by central institutes.


My Lords, I cannot be dogmatic about it, but my understanding is that so far as welding is concerned there is only this one research centre. It needs highly complicated machinery, an electronic micro-scope and other things, which small firms would not have; and although other firms do research into general projects, the actual welding problems, as I understand it, are all sent to the Welding Research Association.

I should now like, if I may, to pass on to a rather fresher field that has not yet been touched on, but which, in my opinion, is very germane to this whole discussion, and that is: how are we going to set about training the new scientists and new technologists who are required, whether it is the very restricted number mentioned in this Report or the much larger number which I think most of us would like to see being turned out? Two things are happening at the present time. One is that a very large number of new universities are being set up, and that of course is admirable. The second thing is that the Robbins Committee are investigating many of these matters, and will, I understand, make their report in a matter of two or possibly three years. It does seem unfortunate that these new universities are being set up before the Robbins Committee have made their report. Some people have even suggested that all new universities should wait until the Robbins Committee have reported. That is certainly not a suggestion which would find favour with any of your Lordships, I hope, but it is unfortunate that the Robbins Committee in fact did not start work earlier so that the result of their very important researches could have been made available to the new universities before they had actually decided on the form of education they were going to adopt.

It seems to me that we have given far too little serious thought to this whole problem of the new universities and institutes of higher education, technical or otherwise. We seem to have continued far too much on the basis of the old ideas, which worked very well at one time and which to a limited extent work extremely well today. Our existing universities, whether they are the old universities or the more modern, are all modelled on the same form. They are modelled on what in fact was done by Oxford and Cambridge or the older universities in Scotland, where they were designed to be a centre of learning, of academic life in its widest sense and of a certain amount of research, where the dons spent a large part of their time leading that academic life which we hope was mainly concerned with true learning, possibly was concerned to a certain extent in some colleges with higher living and higher thinking, and for a small part of their time, not more than six months in the year, they taught the young students. Those students that they were teaching were young men who either were going to succeed them in the academic life or were what one would call cultivated gentlemen with a certain amount of leisure training to do their duties in the 18th and 19th centuries.

For them the training of the universities of that period was, I would say, well designed. But the type of person that we want to turn out now, the type of person that the country requires now, is something very different indeed from what was needed in those days when the universities got their present form. Surely it would be surprising if a form of education that was suitable for that period and for that type of student and that type of (if we may use the word) end product, were still suitable for turning out what the modern world requires, and it would be surprising if it were still suitable for coping with the very different problems of the modern undergraduates or students, because they are not necessarily all from the universities. So I should hope that the new universities that are now being set up, whether in Sussex, in East Anglia or elsewhere, will not model themselves too closely on the old system of university life, will not try to make themselves copies of the old, but will branch out on new lines and adapt themselves to the needs of the present time.

What are those needs? As we have heard to-day from the noble Lords who have spoken, we need men who have been trained in the scientific disciplines. I hope, therefore, that the new universities will, to a large extent, concentrate on just that form of training. It may be thought that if you are trying to turn out scientists, not of the academic or of the research type but of the commercial or industrial type, it is wrong to spend three wasteful years in doing it, with very nearly half the years spent in vacation, and that one should have a far more intensive course, turning them out in two years, with perhaps ten months' work during each year.

However, I do not think that is a sound suggestion, because the intensity of the teaching would cast severe strain on the recipient of the teaching, and also on the teacher; and, what is more important, it would make it impossible for the teacher himself to do any form of original research of his own. I feel it is an essential part of higher education of this type that the people who are doing the teaching should themselves be undertaking some form or other of original research or, alternatively, have contact with industry and the practical application of the subjects that they are teaching. So I would suggest, in all diffidence, not in any way as an expert on these matters, but as putting forward a line of argument, if nothing more, that the new universities should rearrange their terms, not very drastically but so that they have the university year running, shall we say, from the end of September until the middle or the end of May, with rather shorter breaks than at present at Christmas and at Easter. For the rest of the time the students, as part of their course, should, wherever possible, go to the factories or the institutions which are carrying out the sort of work that they themselves will be practising once they have qualified.

In this, I would include not only engineering and other forms of science, but the social sciences also, which, fortunately, are now beginning to play a much larger part (thanks to the work of Professor Titmuss and others who work with him) in our national life. The people who are studying social science should be enabled—in fact, should be obliged—during their three years as students to spend a portion of their time with, let us say, welfare officers and probation officers in certain areas. At the same time as they are getting their academic training they should be able to get some practical training and know rather more in practice of what they are being taught in theory. In agriculture, which normally is not regarded as extremely advanced in its methods of education, it is obligatory at most of the farm institutes and agricultural colleges that the students should spend at least twelve months in the actual manual work of farming before they finally get their degree or diploma.

There is one further point in this matter of the new universities that I should like to bring to your Lordships' attention—namely, the position of the colleges of advanced technology. Undoubtedly, they perform a valuable function in our State, and we could do with more of them and with a larger number of students coming from them. But there is no point in blinding ourselves to the fact that there is a snob value attaching to the degrees of Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science rather than to a diploma in technology or something of that kind. I feel that it would be a great encouragement to people who should be trained at the colleges of advanced technology if these were in some way incorporated with the universities and were entitled to give a Bachelor's degree—whether of Science, of Arts, of Economics or of Business Management is irrelevant. Let them call it a Bachelor's degree rather than a diploma.

There would be a further advantage if these colleges could be incorporated, not only from the point of giving degrees but also geographically, in that there could be a mixture of students, not only of those studying engineering or electronics but of those studying architecture, social services, anthropology and sociology, who could in that way reap the benefits of wider contacts and, indirectly, the wider education which at the moment is reserved only for the larger and, on the whole, older universities.


My Lords, would my noble friend allow me to intervene? I should like to ask him whether he is in fact advocating that colleges of advanced technology should be turned into universities.


No, I am not advocating that they should be turned into universities, but I am suggesting that they should be brought into closer contact with universities. This is not the time or place to discuss whether they should remain autonomous, or how they should be governed, and I certainly am not qualified to discuss that. But I would, once more most diffidently, suggest that either the University Grants Committee or a similar parallel body should eventually become responsible for the financing of all these institutions of higher studies.

The final point that I should like to make is that, important though it is to have more technicians and scientists in our industry, none of this can be achieved unless those who are in charge of industry are fully aware of the benefits that science can bring to them. That is the main thing which needs to be put across—to create not only the supply but the demand for scientists. I believe that one of the most effective ways of doing that is, as has been said already, to ensure that people with scientific degrees rise to the commanding heights in industry, and therefore that they, from their own personal experience, are aware of the benefits in general life of a scientific education.

4.58 p.m.


My Lords, once more we approach our annual debate on this perennial topic. Looking round the House this afternoon, it was with rather a pang that I realised how thin have become the ranks of those who have brought collective pressure to bear upon this topic during the last decade. In fact, I think the noble Viscount to whom we are indebted for this Motion this afternoon and I are about the only Members of this House who were talking on it ten years ago. But if we have lost some distinguished statesmen, I am glad to see we have gained some equally distinguished recruits to the ranks of those who are interested in this subject. I was particularly glad that the noble Lord, Lord Marks of Broughton, selected this topic as the one he preferred for his maiden speech. I hope we shall have the benefit of hearing him again on many occasions in the future. I wonder whether the noble Viscount asks himself as often as I do, "What have we achieved by all these debates?" Certainly, we have achieved something, but I believe that he would agree with me that we have not achieved nearly as much as both he and I would like.

Once more I rise to express to your Lordships my concern that any figures or statistics that we put before the House or the public should be used as grounds for complacency, with respect to the problems that we still have to solve. It is very easy to take two different attitudes about statistics; one, if one is in a complacent mood, the other if one has a sense of urgency. I remember that in the course of our debate last year, I drew the attention of the noble and learned Viscount the Leader of the House to what 0.4 per cent. of the national product looked like in terms of money. It meant that we were £80 million behind the Americans at our level of productivity, or that they were £750 million ahead of us at their level of productivity. If you choose to say that in 1970 we are going to have a small margin of production over consumption of scientists and technologists, and take it in a complacent sense, then we may only too easily relax our efforts. For my own part, I believe that the warning expressed in paragraph 15 of the Command Paper is one that we ought to take very seriously. It says: However much we have already achieved we must guard against complacency. My noble friend, Lord Shackleton, has joined issue with this Command Paper and the figures published, on a number of particular points, where he has criticised the conclusions reached. I should like to make a general criticism which cuts at the whole basis of the method used by the Committee for getting at the demand, the forward loading on the recruitment programme. I should not like that to be taken as a criticism of the work of the Committee. They are trying to do an extremely difficult job and it is better to try to do it and publish the results with due qualifications, however partial they may be, than not to tackle the difficulties of forward calculation at all. To give an example of the sort of difficulty that troubles them, an attempt was made some years ago to find out whether we could check the numbers of professional engineers that there ought to be in the country, judged by recruitment to the professional engineering institutions, and the number that we could discover by sampling industry, to see where these professional engineers were employed. It transpired that, treated as a problem in statistics, fifty per cent. of the ostensible population vanished into thin air when one tried to locate them in industry. Where had they got to? When you are dealing with statistical methods according to which fifty per cent. of your population can apparently disappear, then however reasonable the assumptions you may make as to where it may have got to, the conclusion must be subject to a substantial and unascertainable error.

Let me now deal with the first source of systematic error in these figures. Research and development is one means of competition, but it is not the only means. Advertising is another; so are sales promotion, customer service, access to capital borrowing facilities and so on. But it is characteristic of the economics of competition that competitors can pay anything they please for the means of competition, provided that they all pay the same. This means that in practice you can always afford to spend on advertising what your competitors spend, other things being equal. You can afford to spend on research and development what your competitors spend, other things being equal. There is, therefore, no limit to the appetite of competitors for recruitment of scientists and technologists. If you give them what they ask for, they will immediately want more. The reason why every estimate of forward demand is an underestimate stems from just this and no more: each competitor knows the recruitment he would like to achieve in order to reach the competitive effort that he would like to attain; but he does not know the cognate efforts of his competitors; he has no access to their plans and difficulties, and he does not know what is the likelihood of their effort issuing in success. His requests for manpower are always based on the unconscious assumption, the tacit assumption, that his competitor is not going to get his own demands satisfied. But if you satisfied all competitors equally then new demand would immediately arise. There is therefore no natural level at which one can say that the demand for scientists and technologists for carrying out research and development will ever cease.

It is true that a competitor could by excessive effort price himself right out of the market; he could then take a little more out of profits until the shareholders jibbed at the dividend; but broadly, at the 5 per cent. level at which research and development occurs in industry, there is no limit to the appetite of industry for engineers and scientists. Therefore, all the figures of demand in the Command Paper are bound to be underestimates and should be treated as such.


My Lords, could the noble Earl explain that a little more? I should have thought that they would tend to be overestimates if the industries were all tending slightly to inflate their own hopes.


No, they do not inflate their own hopes because they do not know what is behind the hill from the standpoint of their competitors. All they can give you is their immediate requirements as known to them at the current level of competition, and therefore they will underestimate their own requirements for the future. It is not until their competitors' requirements have been satisfied that their own true demand will begin to make itself manifest. Therefore, I argue that all these figures are underestimates and that there is a systematic tendency to underestimate these demand figures.

Furthermore, assuming that we join the Common Market, a more competitive atmosphere will be created. The much higher density of technologists employed in certain Continental industries will almost certainly create a further corresponding demand in British industry, in order to meet that competition. Once again, therefore, one finds reason for supposing that the figures for demand in the Command Paper contain a systematic source of underestimation.

The second source of error is very much related to the statistical difficulty which Sir Sally Zuckerman and his colleagues found when they were conducting an earlier investigation—namely, the transfer across the economic structure, as it were, from scientists and technologists employed as such, to scientists and technologists employed in other capacities altogether. Increasingly in technological industries we need to have scientists and engineers as our salesmen; we may also need to have scientists and engineers as our buyers; we may need to have them as our administrators. I am not now concerned with the question of whether scientists should go on to general boards or not; that will not affect the statistics one way or the other. But there is a very large and substantial transfer of scientists and engineers out of scientific employment into other branches of the firms in which they are employed. For example, it is quite impossible to sell a computer unless the salesmen are themselves represented by a staff of mathematicians and electronic engineers. They will not be able to talk to their customers, whose buyers will also be mathematicians and electronic engineers, unless they can talk the language. Now it is probable that this transfer across the industrial structure of scientists and engineers, from scientific employment to commercial employment, accounts for the missing 50 per cent. of the population that the earlier investigation tried to find. If so, that is a second source of error. It will certainly apply to all the industries making capital goods, where there is a strong tendency for the goods in question to be one-off, once-only designs, custom-built to the customer's choice, involving long consultations between sales engineers in the manufacturing firm and purchasing engineers in the buying firm.

May I turn for a few moments to a consideration of a point raised by the noble Viscount? It is, of course, impossible to discuss supply and demand without reference to efficiency of utilisation. If a man asks for some more of something, then the first question one must ask of him is whether he is making efficient use of what he has already. I am perfectly certain that the noble Viscount is uttering words of wisdom when he says that we are not employing scientists anywhere as efficiently as they ought to be employed. I am sure that glaring cases can be found of inefficiency of employment, and in this regard I have no doubt that the Government ought to be, like Cæsar's wife, above reproach. I am equally sure that they probably are not. I do not think that scientists are employed as efficiently in Government service as they could be. This is not a specific criticism of any Government. Everything is always susceptible of improvement.

Let me give your Lordships just one example—which may strike you as perhaps a little off the beam, although I do not think it is—of what I mean. One way of reducing the efficiency with which a man is employed is to keep him marking time while somebody else is taking policy decisions about the work for which he is projected to become responsible when those policy decisions are taken.

Let me therefore consider a few facts related to the development of colour television, which is a matter of close concern to the Government. I am not going to argue the pros and cons of whether or not we ought to have colour television. This would not be the place for me, as a Governor of the B.B.C., to discuss this matter, which is in any case the proper concern of another body. I am merely concerned with the time scale on which decisions are taken in this country as compared with the times taken by other countries. In the year 1950 the Radio Corporation of America set out to evolve a system of colour television. By 1952–53 the technical work was complete. In the course of 1953–54 the policy decision to launch it as a national system was taken; and by 1954 the system was being transmitted: four years from a gleam in the eye of a scientist to a complete commercial enterprise.

The B.B.C. started work on adapting this to British conditions in 1955. From the purely engineering point of view, that phase of the B.B.C.'s work is finished, but we still require a policy decision as to whether to go ahead with it or not. No policy decision can be yet forthcoming because the matter is sub judice, with the Pilkington Committee. Yesterday, the Assistant Postmaster General, in a public speech, gave some hope that the Pilkington Committee might report by March, 1962. If the pace to which we have grown accustomed in administrative matters is going to pertain thereafter, it might very well take a year for the Government to consider the recommendations of the Pilkington Committee and another year for the Legislature to find time to debate the recommendations of the Government. By the time whatever recommendations there may be are agreed upon, it could easily be 1965 before the public see a demonstration of public-broadcast colour television. It will then have taken ten years to copy what was achieved as an original effort in America in four years.

It seems to me that the pace of modern technological development makes a mockery of the speed at which we proceed in administrative matters. I very much hope, of course, that the noble and learned Viscount will be able to give me some reassurance that we shall move faster than our traditional speed in matters of this kind. This is an example of how slow action can result in inefficient utilisation of engineers. Engineers who might be creatively getting on with colour television transmission are marking time, waiting for a decision to be taken.

I am sure we have to accept the implications of the basic fact that the Government's policy must always be mainly concerned with the average needs of the average man. I suppose that it would not be in human nature, let alone political human nature, to suppose that higher—anything you like to name, higher education, higher technological education, higher thought or whatever it may be, is very closely related to the interests of the average man. In fact, the mere use of the word "average", on the one hand, and the word "higher", on the other, seems to remove them from one another's orbit by definition. But it has always seemed to me that in this field of higher technological education, where our interest is the long-term interest of the nation as a whole, we have been too liable in these years since the war to let our sense of purpose waver and wilt with every uncertainty that can be made a pretext for not pressing onwards as vigorously as possible with our programme of university development and higher technical college development. I myself have always felt that the rather artificial controversies in which we allowed this subject to become involved in its early days were really little more than excuses for postponing the necessary expenditure.

I believe that a nation determined to go ahead with what was called for in those days, part of which has been accomplished since, would not have allowed itself to get involved in those rather spurious controversies. It is for this reason that I have always been so reluctant—and I have said this before in this House—to tie our sense of purpose to whatever is being done elsewhere. We always hear about what is going on in Russia—and, in fact, we have heard today about Russian welding. It is perfectly true that the Russians have struck lucky with a new welding process, and they have done very well; but, having regard to the magnitude of Russian technological effort, they ought to hit a great deal more of those winners from time to time than they actually do if their system is working as well as they claim. Of course, it does not work as well as they claim.

If your Lordships will permit me to relate an anecdote, I was discussing these matters with a Russian professor of technology who was on a courtesy visit over here a little while back, and I asked him two questions. I said, "You do all your research in Russia in institutions and very little of it in actual factories, do you not?" He agreed. I then said, "How do you get research and development from your institutions into the factories?" He replied "That is a very difficult matter. There is a lot of sales resistance in Russian industry when it comes to absorbing new ideas from universities and institutions". It will be seen, my Lords, that the story is very much the same all over the world. Many of these matters that we debate are to some extent universal. I also asked him how they rewarded inventors in Russia, and he replied, "They may apply for a patent if they Wish". I asked, "You are a very distinguished inventor. Do you apply for patents?". He replied, "No, I have learnt not to". I asked him why not, and he said, "If you have invented anything important everybody gangs up on you and says you did not invent it". It is the same all over the world; this is the way that people react.

That is why I have never been one for worrying unduly about what other people do. We ought to try, I think, to do what is right for ourselves. And one of the things I am sure we ought not to do is have a kind of comfortable feeling that we are going to have a nice little tidy surplus of scientists and technologists in 1970 and that we do not need to make any particular effort between now and then. I am sure that that small apparent surplus should not be allowed to act as an excuse for slackening any effort—for delaying any programme here, cutting out an item there, or generally taking the heart out of the executive administration in the universities and technical colleges which is doing its very best to give us what we want and what we need so badly. We must keep on with the type of vigorous drive that the noble Viscount and I have advocated for so many years. It is because pressure to do this can be brought here and in another place as nowhere else, that these debates seem to me to have served a very vital purpose, even if the noble Viscount and I have not achieved as much with them as we had hoped in the last decade; and that is why we may be very grateful to those noble Lords who have brought these matters to our attention again.

5.18 p.m.


My Lords, I feel rather goaded to take part in this discussion by the speech of the noble Earl who has just resumed his seat. I think I have, in fact, taken part in the majority of these debates on past occasions, and I felt slightly aggrieved, therefore, when he said that he and the noble Viscount were the sole survivors of the team. Indeed, I once had an interesting correspondence with him on points which I think we had both raised in the course of one of these discussions.


My Lords, I am happy to correct my statement.


At any rate, it proved that something that I said had interested him. We all enjoy very much the contributions which he makes on these occasions, because he brings to these problems a knowledge, both on the practical and on the theoretical side, which is very rare, not only in this Chamber but, indeed, in the country as a whole. I must say that I agree with almost everything he said. I ant not sure that I agree with him that the slowness of progress in this country is altogether due to administrative delays, though undoubtedly they play a considerable part. But I feel that our own technological work, good and thorough as it is, is often very much on the slow side.

I could not help thinking, when coming through the Hyde Park "bottleneck" this afternoon, that it was a long time since we passed the necessary legislation to enable that improvement to be carried through, and that if it had been in New York or one of the great American cities the technological problems would have been solved in probably less than half the time. And that is the case not only in the United States but also in one or two of the countries behind the Iron Curtain. I say that because I had the opportunity some years ago of seeing the great bridge over the Yangtse River at Yuhan, one of the greatest bridges in the world, just before it was completed. It was a magnificent piece of engineering achievement because it was all done from first to last in a period of just under two years, and was a much bigger task than that of making Hyde Park Corner fit for London's traffic.

I think the noble Earl is right—and I remember saying this on a previous occasion—when he said that there is a great deal of wastage of scientific manpower in industry. I do not know very much about the position in the Government service, but I get much evidence from meeting young scientists who are employed in industry, some of whom would have been working in the universities if they had not been attracted into industry by, I will not say specious promises, but by good salaries and the holding out of interesting work. But when they get there, many of them find they have very little to do and that they are "kicking their heels", or dealing with problems which they say any sixth former could handle.

It may be that we are just going through teething troubles on this matter, because the employment of large numbers of scientists in industry is a comparatively recent development, to a considerable extent post-war, and in order to employ scientists effectively in industry you must have the top people understanding the job of employing them. Some branches of industry undoubtedly know how to do it. Unfortunately, I was not able to hear the speech of the noble Lord, Lord Fleck, but in Imperial Chemical Industries, Limited, they have known for many years how to pick scientists for the chemical industry and how to use them effectively. It may be that other branches of industry will eventually learn the technique. If anything could be done by the noble Viscount who is responsible for science to assist them to get this technique, it would undoubtedly be of very great value.

We have read a great deal of controversy, in newspapers and elsewhere, over these last months about the wastage of scientists by losing them to the United States and other countries. I was interested to notice that the Canadians are complaining that many of the best of their younger scientists are lured across the border into the United States, too. In this country the situation is very serious, and has been made worse by the recent standstill. The university teachers had put in a claim for an increase in salaries early in the year, and they were asked by the Grants Commission to withdraw it because the Grants Commission themselves wanted to look at the whole structure of university salaries. Naturally, the University Teachers' Association agreed to this, but in the interval the standstill came into force.

There is undoubtedly a feeling in the universities that, in that way, they have been cheated. It was not a deliberate cheating, but it meant that a new salary structure which would have come into operation almost certainly this year has been postponed for a substantial time. You really cannot expect the young man who has just taken a degree and who is offered a very good post at either an American university or in American industry to stay in this country on the basis of something which is going to happen in the indefinite future, when by going to the United States he can not only very much improve his position financially, but also get the advantage of much finer laboratory equipment, and can, in all sorts of other ways, put himself in a position to get on with his scientific work in a manner not always possible in this country.

I was interested in the speech of my noble friend Lord Walston, who seemed to be anxious that the new universities which are being set up should concentrate almost exclusively on science. I hope I misunderstood him, because I do not think that anything could be worse than to concentrate exclusively on science. Scientists need to be more than just scientists if they are to understand science itself effectively. I can reassure him that many new kinds of development are being tried and new experiments are being made in the new universities, so far as they have gone. It would be carrying the matter a little beyond the scope of this debate if I were to give details of them, but I think they are very interesting indeed. I am sure that the historians of universities will look back with a great deal of interest, and I hope with pride, on some of the experiments which are being made in connection with the setting up of new universities. But one must remember that one cannot depart too widely from the established tradition, which, after all, has proved itself in a long and magnificent history of university work, not only in this country but in Western Europe as a whole, where the tradition is the same as the one we rejoice in in this country.

I should like to add a word of sympathy for what the noble Lord said about the colleges of advanced technology. There was a feeling in the universities, and I think the Grants Com- mittee shared the view—I believe this was what the noble Earl was referring to when he mentioned the debate we had had on a previous occasion, in which he said there was a certain amount of unreality, if I understood him correctly—that the new universities which are being created could carry the task of giving technological education to our people. The Government ruled against that and decided to set up the colleges of advanced technology, and, that decision having been made, I think the undoubted feeling in the universities now is that we ought to work with them loyally to make the scheme work as well as possible. As the noble Viscount who leads the House knows, the Minister of Education is negotiating for the transfer to his own Ministry of the more advanced of the colleges of advanced technology, and it is hoped that as a result something very much in the nature of a university structure, at any rate in regard to salaries and superannuation, and matters of that kind, will be worked out.

I am happy to say that the university teachers are very anxious to do everything in their power to assist in this way. It should be possible to bring the leading colleges of advanced technology into the university set-up without necessarily making them actually part of the universities, as of course has been done, as the noble Earl knows, in Manchester and in Glasgow. Without going as far as that, I think it should be possible during the next year to give them very much the same sort of status as the universities themselves. That will undoubtedly meet a psychological need which could be very helpful from the point of view of improving the work of these colleges. In one way or the other progress is being made. The only point is that we ought to be making it on a broader front, and more rapidly.

5.30 p.m.


My Lords, in my family we have a hero. Amongst the first words my children learn is the name of Marks—"Mummy will get it at Marks & Spencer's." To women and children all over the country the noble Lord, Lord Marks of Broughton is a wonderful man, and I think we are very lucky to have him here with us. To understand how much he has done for the women and children of this country one has only to see a town where there is not a Marks & Spencer's. I happen to work where there is not one and we should very much like one, please, as soon as possible. And how has he done it? I join with my noble friend Lord Walston in saying that I wish he had told us a little more about this. I guess he has done it by having his people use their brains at every level throughout his firm, by attention to detail at every level, perhaps not by science applied by scientists but by applied scientific thinking, whether to the storing of the biscuits he was telling us about or to meeting an over-run on clothes of this or that kind. I am sure that that is the way to achieve success. And it was a great treat to hear the noble Lord speak today. I should like to add my congratulations to those of other noble Lords who have spoken and say that we look forward to hearing from him again and to learning more about the way he makes his wonderful business "tick".

In a fortnight's time we shall be having a debate on another manpower problem—that is, the shortage of doctors. That shortage stems from a Government Report published six years ago, which recommended a cut of 10 per cent. in the intake of medical students. The cut was made and now we have the shortage. We are now standing in the same position in regard to scientific manpower as were the Government six years ago in relation to doctors, and I hope we do not go wrong, as we have undoubtedly gone wrong in connection with the supply of medical manpower.

I do not share the feelings of those who run down this Report, although there are about three rather silly sentences in it which are creating a good deal of understandable alarm and disturbance among parents and students by making them think that there is going to be an excess of scientific manpower. But this is a good piece of national manpower budgeting. It is a first shot at it only and, like all first shots, it is subject to all sorts of errors. My noble friend Lord Shackleton reminds me that it is the second shot, but it is the first shot at doing it in this way. Anybody who has done statistical exercises like this will know how difficult they are and how many "ifs" and "buts" there are. The only way to get it right is to repeat it every year, and, if this exercise is repeated every year, then we shall have a progressive picture which will be adapted and corrected.

When we look at the way other national statistics have been built up over the years we find that that is exactly what has happened. Each year fresh refinements have been brought in and the picture has become more accurate. Merely by making such a Report as this, we are inevitably doing some planning, because people tend to take this as a plan, whether it is or not, as a picture not only of what is expected to happen but also of what ought to happen. I regard that as a good thing, as do the authors of the Report itself.

My noble friend Lord Shackleton emphasised that this was a non-qualitative study and he is right. In this Report, scientists are scientists and technologists are technologists, but in real life it is different. Some first-rate scientists are full of ideas, but there are a great many more who are routine scientists. It may well be that we have already too many routine scientists but nothing like enough really good ones who have ideas. I am sure that the noble Earl, Lord Halsbury, is right in saying, as did other noble Lords, that the Report is an underestimate and that the demand for scientists in industry and throughout the whole of our national economy will be far greater than is depicted in the Report.

Medically speaking, I look after a number of electrical factories, and I have talked with many engineering and scientific colleagues. They tell me that in the developed, highly scientific electrical industry the generally assumed position is 10 per cent. of qualified manpower. They also told me that in Texas Instrument Company in Dallas, which your Lordships may know, and which employs 8,000 people, 25 per cent. are scientifically or professionally qualified. It is said that American qualifications are not quite the same as ours. There is some truth in that, but it is also true that an American Ph.D. has certain advantages over our Ph.D. For example, in the Dallas factory, what we should call a shop foreman or shop superintendent is a Ph.D., a highly skilled scientist capable of reviewing the whole produc- tion process as a scientist and therefore an excellent person to have running a shop. With us, it is very different. The shop superintendent will probably be a non-qualified engineer. I have not the slightest doubt that the efficiency achieved in such circumstances is very much greater.

My noble friend Lord Chorley spoke about the attitude of young university scientists going into industry, and said that they objected to taking on a problem that any small boy at school could handle. I think that is a wrong attitude for scientists to have, because time and again it is the tackling of small jobs in industry which makes all the difference between efficiency and inefficiency. The attitude of scientists in this country is that pure search research has a higher status than development work and that development work has a higher status than production work. This just is not so: they are all equally important. In a German firm which I know, they put a physicist in charge of production control and he has been an outstanding success, partly, of course, because he was an excellent man and partly because he was a physicist. There is an American firm with a branch in the Home Counties which is recruiting for the shop floor only girls who have a G.C.E. at "A" level. I think they are probably right.

Our attitude to higher degrees is quite different. With us a Ph.D. is a pure research degree and all the emphasis is on the capacity to do a limited piece of research extremely well. In the United States, the research work for a Ph.D. is combined with a wider and deeper general scientific education. In fact it is a higher training in science, as well as a research training in science. Again, I think that is what we need in our industries, and not people who necessarily have this extremely esoteric skill in doing the kind of academic research which is normally rewarded by a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

D.S.I.R. grants for research are supposed to enable individuals to pursue their education to make them more fitted for industry. That is what I think it says in the brochure and instructions for those who apply. In fact, they are almost always used as a means of getting a Ph.D. degree and a doctorate as an additional "handle" to the name of the person who gets it; and, in consequence, they are not really used to help these people to adapt themselves to the needs of industry.

I am quite sure that in industry the scientist must not confine himself to research laboratories, or even to the development laboratories, but, as the noble Earl. Lord, Halsbury, said, must get into the shop. And he must also go out on the road as a scientific salesman. One cannot sell complicated modern machinery without expert scientists doing the selling.

Again, I agree with what the noble Earl, Lord Halsbury, said about the Report's being built on returns from industry which were in part unreliable, though I think the unreliability arose from certain other causes than those mentioned by the noble Earl. If one asks industrialists what are their forward requirements for scientists, or indeed for anything else, they are apt to be very much governed by the position at the moment. In the electrical industry at the present time profits are down and the figures for financing research are being cut. Unfortunately, one of the first things that an industry tends to cut in order to maintain dividends, is research. And they can do it, because the effects of research are long term. It is perfectly possible to cut out all research and still go on making reasonable profits for three years. But then at the end of the three years there is a blank, because the research has not been carried out. It takes three years at least for basic research to fructify. So the imprudent businessman will cut his research, when faced with a recession, and the research suffers.

It is fashionable to blame lack of research-mindedness in industry on the industrialists. I do riot find this at all. I find that the great majority of industrialists I know are highly research-minded. But they are at the mercy of financial situations; they are at the mercy of a non-expanding economy and the "Stop-and-Go" economic policy. Half the difficulty over research is that this is a substantial overhead which can bear fruit only in the long term, and, therefore, unless a firm can see ahead and plan ahead long term, and at the same time plan for expansion, it will not put money into research.

The second factor about research is the extraordinary difficulty of carrying it out in smaller industrial units. I think it was the noble Viscount, Lord Caldecote, in his speech (with which I must say I entirely agree) who mentioned the difficulty which the smaller industries have, and how it is really easier where one gets something approaching a monopoly to carry out adequate and proper research. I entirely agree with him that the bigger the firm the better the chance of a good research effort. I see a lot of the drug industry, and the drug industry in this country is bedevilled by a large number of firms in very high competition. Too much competition is a thoroughly bad thing. I used to be interested in the cinema industry, and that industry could not function with too much competition. Until the noble Lord, Lord Rank, managed to create a vertical semi-monopoly it could not work and did not function.

I am not opposed to monopolies as such. Often they provide the only efficient way of doing things. When it comes to research, even the big electrical giants find themselves not big enough to carry out the research they ought to do; and I am sure that much of the success of the industry of the noble Lord, Lord Fleck, is due to that industry's commanding position which has enabled it to plough back the necessary money to carry out research. The little firms who employ 400 or 500 people cannot, of course, have pure research laboratories. The most they can do is to have a few people on production control and a few on development. That is about all they can accomplish; it is all they will ever be able to do, and for the rest they will have to rely on the research associations.

Industrialist friends of mine tell me that the Oxford and Cambridge graduates in science who are coming into industry now are often not of the leader type they would like to see. They say (and I think they are right) that the leader type tends still to go into the professions. Apart from the social status, the financial rewards for medicine, at any rate, are better than in I science. So we get the people we pay for. Do the best people go into science? I do not think they do. I think we are just not getting them in. When one looks at what the financial rewards in industry are like for the young scientist, I am not surprised, although they are much better than they used to be. A graduate with a first-class honours degree, aged 22, will now get £900 a year upon coming into industry. That is a good salary, but it is not as good comparatively as what that same young graduate gets in medicine; he will do much better in medicine. By the time he is 30, in industry he will probably get £1,500 a year; but in medicine at 30, if he has gone to general practice, he will be making £2,500 a year, though he will be working much harder. As I say, the position is better than it was. But these are not princely rewards, and these young men will not get princely rewards so long as they stay in science, unless they are very fortunate. They will have to go over to administration and the exercise of other than purely scientific skills if they are to get to the top in industry. I must say, in spite of what was recently said that the top places in industry are not going to scientists, that I think a fair proportion are going to people who are scientifically and technically trained.

I agree entirely with what the noble Viscount, Lord Caldecote, said about Britain's having to maintain a technical lead in order to keep going and to sell her products. I do not think we can do it over the whole field of industry; it is impossible for us to attempt to do everything. One of the things we are doing at the moment is fiddling with too many things and diffusing our energies. I would suggest that the immense success of the noble Lord, Lord Marks of Broughton, is partly due to his concentrating on a certain number of things and doing those superbly, rather than trying to do everything. I feel, as the noble Viscount, Lord Caldecote, said, that we must concentrate on specific highly technical fields, and the more technical, the better. The greater the degree of skill that goes into the product, the better. Here we have to put everything we have into these efforts.

Electronics, I think, is a good point for effort—we could do better, although we are not doing too badly. With regard to aircraft and computers, again I agree with him. One can compare our situation with what the Japanese have done. When one sees the triumphs of the Japanese optical and camera industry since the war, it makes one feel a little ashamed. People say, "The Japs only. copy". But they do not. They have now, I believe, a higher ratio of technical and scientific people to productive workers in their industry than has any other country in the world. And they are reaping their reward. They built up an enormous home market for cameras, they then pushed into this a tremendous amount of development, and then developed a tremendous export drive in cameras. Economically they are in almost exactly the same position as we are.

How can the Government help? It is stale to say that there are no real cash incentives to export, but I still think it is true. I think there must be cash incentives for quality export. One knows the fiscal difficulties, but surely it is worth doing. If you pass on relief to the manufacturer of a motor car, he has to pass on part of the relief to the manufacturer of the petrol gauge, or whatever it may be, if the thing is to work out fairly. These are not insoluble problems. Surely we ought to try to help those whom we want to help to succeed.

Now as regards the Government and research, I have been reading with great pleasure and interest the Fawley Foundation Lecture given by the noble Viscount, Lord Hailsham, at Southampton. There is so much with which one agrees, that it is a shame to disagree with anything. But I sometimes feel that the noble Viscount is a little diffident, quite rightly, about not pushing the Minister for Science as a controller of science. I think he has a planning duty to fulfil, and I think the attempt in this Report to do it is a good attempt, provided we repeat it each year. The mere doing of it and the mere repetition of this exercise will have the effect I want to see in the long run. If we take research contracts, which is the routine method of getting defence research done, we find that that is where most of our research effort is going, and that is where we have been I pretty successful.

But in the long term our civil work is really more important even than our military. Here it is that we have been less successful. It is difficult for a Government to say what civil research work ought to be done for industry, because of the whole question of predicting of nature of demand. This is really a job of social research, and although we have a social survey and could use it inside our Government machinery to predict what demand was likely to be, and could assist science to plan itself in the service of industry, we are bound to come unstuck quite often, as indeed the industrialists must come unstuck.

I am not myself sure that the granting of research contracts for civil purposes would be the best way of solving this problem, though it is worth trying. I think the best way is a cash incentive to industry to do research itself, by the handing back of some portion of tax that they have paid for the amount of research they do. I have long felt that you get what you pay for in this world. Where one is dealing with industry, they often, strangely enough, cannot pay because they are too small or are in far more difficult positions than appear to the rather glib outsider who criticises them. They often are in a difficult financial position, and we shall get them to behave as we want them to only if it is financially advantageous to them to do so. In the long term I hope that we shall do something of that sort.

My noble friend Lord Shackleton made a series of minor criticisms of this Report with which I would agree. I think they were fair and valid criticisms. Nevertheless, I am glad that this exercise has been undertaken. I would not have had it suppressed or kept out of the way, because in the long run I am sure it will do good. But it is a piece of very poor public relations on the part of those who allowed the initial memorandum to go through, with these rather alarming predictions about excess of scientific manpower in due course. I hope this will not discourage the Government from doing the exercise again each year, and giving us a scientific manpower budget which is currently brought up to date. In doing that, they will improve their methods. They have an excellent statistical committee, and Sir Harry Campion is a wonderful statistician. He and his team will certainly get these figures accurate and, as they get more accurate and realistic, industry itself will take greater cognisance of its need to plan ahead in terms of scientific manpower.

I think we shall succeed in making a job of our society only if we are prepared to face this issue of planning by free consultation and co-operation. The mere production of statistics of forward planning quite often acts in a free society without any compulsions. If we should take the trouble to repeat these exercises, we shall get a long-term picture of scientific manpower which is realistic for our needs.

5.57 p.m.


My Lords, as the noble Earl who spoke from the Cross Benches reminded us, it so happens that we have had a debate on this subject approximately at this time of the year each year during the last three years, at any rate. The first one, not unnaturally, turned upon the functions and duties of the Office to which I had then been duly appointed, after having been responsible for part of the field as Lord President for the two years before. The second debate quite properly dealt more broadly with scientific organisation. For those reasons, I shall not to-night go into that part of the field which I think otherwise I legitimately ought to do.

But before I embark upon a discussion of the two Motions before the House, I should like to join with others who have welcomed my noble friend Lord Marks of Broughton to our counsels. I very much enjoyed the speech which he gave us, and I hope he will find his way here often again to take part in our debates, with his unrivalled commercial and technical experience. I was particularly glad to hear about the factory manufacturing biscuits to which he referred. I think that too little attention is being paid to the potentialities of food manufacture for export at the present time. We are apt to think that this is outside the scope of our industry. We are discovering bit by bit that it is not. There was a recent exhibition in Germany, and I was glad that my noble friend Lord Marks of Broughton, in his successful maiden speech, referred to it this evening.

I should like also to congratulate my noble friend Lord Caldecote on what, I thought, was really a remarkable speech introducing this debate. I agreed with so much of it that it would, I think, be impossible for me to select, except in the course of my own remarks, particular passages in it. But I think it delighted the whole House and served to draw attention to almost all the important parts of that portion of the subject which he made his own.

Both Motions we are discussing to-day draw attention to different aspects of the same matter: the demand, the supply and the use of scientific manpower, and the use in a scientific manner of all our resources and brain power. All these aspects concern my own Department of government; but they concern a great deal more than my own Department: they concern schools, technical colleges, universities, apprenticeships—to which I think the noble Lord, Lord Fleck, referred—management in industry, nationalised corporations, all the departments of government dealing with Defence, the Post Office, the Board of Trade, the Ministries of Power, Transport, Labour and Education, indeed the whole function of training and management throughout our administrative and economic life. This is, indeed, a wide canvas and, from my own point of view, almost too wide, yet its width is only a reflection of the fact that modern industrial society is respected and strong, is prosperous in peace and tough in war, precisely in proportion as it develops its knowledge of natural science and its skill and ingenuity in applying it.

It is a comment on the need for training and for qualified manpower in every respect that these demands on our skill and knowledge are not exclusive demands. They are not substitutes for the knowledge of the arts and humanities or of the so-called human sciences. Both are needed, and both are needed in far greater quantities than we possess to-day. It is this, I think, rather than the incomparability of the figures, which sometimes stultifies the comparisons which are made with America and Russia. I do not myself think that in any very large respect an advance in science can any longer be obtained by getting out of schools a higher proportion, or a much higher proportion, of scientists as against humanists. This may be true of one or two of the public schools where the proportions are markedly different from the grammar school population as a whole, but unless I am mistaken the grammar school population is divided about 60:40, or perhaps a little more heavily divided than that, in favour of science, and I should have thought this was a proportion, certainly in the boys' grammar schools, which we could accept, with a similar proportion in the universities. I will, if I may, return to that theme later in my remarks.

But, of course, shortest of all in every discipline are the men of genius, the pace-makers, the real frontiersmen of knowledge in every sphere, the men to whom training and qualifications are only an embellishment of natural powers, the men—and women, too—on a very small handful of whom, in every age, the real progress and stature of every community depends.

I always like to think of our scientific manpower as an advancing army. At the spearhead are the real discoverers, the scientific men of genius whom I have tried to describe. But immediately behind them is an immense army of researchers and graduates, technologists and teachers. Behind them is a still larger force of technicians, two or three at least, I suppose, for every graduate, each the product of a long period of training in general education and in technical skill, and all essential to technical progress and indispensable to the proper uses of graduate manpower. Behind them again are the foremen, supervisors and craftsmen, each, too, the product of years of training and apprenticeship and each an example in his own way of years of self-discipline and self-sacrifice, almost from the nursery onwards, and certainly from the school, spent in acquiring the skill which will make him useful to society.

Supporting this great army of manpower there is an equally imposing array of logistic support. The time has gone when the scientist can carry on in a back-yard with home-made apparatus purchased out of his own spare cash. Astronomers must have telescopes which remind one of cathedrals or sometimes of mountains; physicists demand accelerating machines weighing tens of thousands of tons; biologists must use electron-microscopes; and those who study the stars will, I suppose, shortly be seeking them in rockets. All this must be supported by the production of industry, which, in its turn, is one of the greediest of the customers who purchase the products of the educational machine. Most important of all, in one sense, because it is the matrix of all else, is the educational machine itself—the school, the technical college, the university, whose teachers and apparatus are the veritable seed corn and fertiliser upon which the harvest rests.

What perhaps impresses me most, as a Parliamentarian, about all this is the long period of time required to bring any plan to fruition. Accustomed as we are here to thinking in terms of yearly or five-yearly periods, from Session to Session, from Parliament to Parliament, it is almost a wrench to attune one's own thinking to the new time-scale. To make one of the golden men at the top of the scientific pyramid takes the best part of 30 years, and it may be for no more than 10 after that that he does his best scientific work, and it may be only 50 years later that the true application of what he has discovered really begins. sometimes almost accidentally, to be applied in the ordinary life of men and women.

I remember, when I was speaking to the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee earlier this summer, someone cried out to me, "What is your Committee doing to solve the economic crisis?" My Lords, I was tempted to reply, although I did not, "It is the business of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to solve the present economic crisis. I am concerned to prevent one in 1975." Of course, like all other points worth making, this is both a paradox and an exaggeration, but it is also partly the truth.

The series of Reports of the Scientific Manpower Committee, of which the latest, over the signature of Sir Solly Zuckerman, is the subject of the Motion by the noble Lord, Lord Shackleton, is concerned with a fairly narrow aspect of this huge spectrum, and it is important in assessing the value of this—to my mind—admirable work that I should emphasise its limitations as well as its virtues. The present Report is one of a series which goes back as far as 1946. The situation which we now face was created by 'the Government which received that first Report. The current Report we are now discussing assesses progress on the Reports of 1951, 1956 and 1959, and looks forward to the situation as far ahead as 1975. Besides gradually developing estimates, the series has, I believe, shown a rapidly growing technique of estimation from the relatively crude in 1946 to the relatively scientific in 1961.

My Lords, The noble Lord, Lord Shackleton, and other speakers have criticised the calculations. I do not think it would be helpful to go into many details about individual criticisms. With some I agree, with others I do not agree. I think it is fair [to the Committee to point out that it is not correct that no allowance was made for requirements for emergent countries, as the noble Lord, Lord Shackleton, will see if he consults paragraph 15 (iii) (c) of the Report. Nor is it correct, I think, to say that the demand for qualified manpower in chemicals and oil is estimated not to rise. I understand the estimate for 1970 in the Report is 36,700 as against 14,100 in 1959; again, I refer to Table 5 on page 12.


My Lords, may I interrupt? I must apologise on the last point that I did not make it clear. What I tried to convey was that in fact the estimate in regard to those fully manned-up firms which had a higher scientific and technological content was that there would be a little increase, and I was disagreeing with that aspect of it. So far as the special demand overseas is concerned, all we have in the Report is that allowance is being made for this when information is available, and it is in the further projection that I think it is weak.


I certainly was not really criticising Lord Shackleton's speech, with which I very largely agreed, but I thought it right to draw attention to these points, since otherwise I think my dealing with the debate would have been incomplete. I should hope, of course, that as we go on we will do better next time, as I think the noble Earl, Lord Halsbury, gave us to understand was still possible. I think that is so. I am not in a position to say, nor was the Committee—because I think in paragraph 12 they say so themselves—that the methods of estimation are yet perfected. What has happened hitherto, and this may be some guide to the Report, has been that both the demand and the supply have been underestimated in previous Reports, and I suspect that this may be the case again. That does not necessarily mean that the relation between the two is wrong. Hitherto there has been rather a good relationship in the pre-estimates of the relationship between demand and supply.

I will not, as I had previously intended to do, take the House through the Reports leading up to the present Report. But the current Report which we are now discussing estimates that at the end of 1965-and here I quote—the overall supply and demand for qualified manpower will not be very much out of balance". We shall, of course, be carrying out another review of scientific manpower in January, 1962. The current estimate, which in the series which we have received since the war is the first of an encouraging nature, has met with some criticism for over-optimism, and I agree that we should be very much on our guard against false optimism in this matter. To some extent, however, I would say that the criticism is a misunderstanding of what the Report was trying to do.

References in the Report to a surplus of qualified scientists and engineers may well, as other speakers have pointed out, have caused headmasters and parents and even some of the younger people contemplating scientific specialisation to hesitate. I agree that it would be a disaster if it had that result. But I do not think they ought to hesitate. I can say, without any qualification at all, that the prospects for any able young man or woman now about to set out on a technological or scientific career are, and will remain, wider and better than ever before. We can never have too many brains of the highest ability trained in these fields. Our future depends, as has been said several times this afternoon, on the way in which we use our educated manpower to the best effect. The opportunity we have now before us, which we have been unable until now to face, is to carry forward the benefits of the scientific disciplines into wide fields of activity hitherto unilluminated by them, at least to any great degree. This seems to me to be a challenge no less great than the remarkable advances in the application of science which mark out this generation from all others. We shall have to develop fresh concepts of what a scientific education should be to meet these wider demands, and I hope and believe that the universities are now devoting much attention to this matter and will, as they have in the past, show themselves quickly responsive to the changing needs and circumstances of the times.

But from one point of view I think, as the noble Lord, Lord Shackleton, said, I am entitled to treat the Report unequivocally as a success story, both for the Committee and for the Government. On the Committee's advice, the Government accepted the recommendation of the 1956 document for an annual output of 20,000 by 1966. The Report shows that our plans have proved a little better than adequate for the purpose we proclaimed, and that we shall do it ahead of schedule. This is a good thing, and it is an unmixed Good.

But we should now realise what the Committee were trying to do, and I think the thought should sober us in our optimism. The calculations of demand, I must emphasise, are not an estimate of need. The calculations of demand are not an estimate of the number of scientists that we ought—I emphasise "ought"—to want in any given year. They do not purport to be this, and if they did I should not know how to assess their reliability. What they are is an estimate, the best we can make, of the number of scientists of the need of which Government and industry, given its present way of thinking, will be conscious in any given year. If it is true, as I think it is, that even in vocational posts industry ought to be asking for many more than it is likely to be asking for, then the figures are only reassuring in a relative sense, since although supply and demand will be in balance a more rational demand would give rise to the need for a greater supply. Moreover, I think it is important that it should be remembered, as the noble Lord, Lord Shackleton, pointed out, that the figures do not cover medical, dental, agricultural or veterinary qualifications; the social sciences; or technicians.

The Government is indeed seeking accurate information about the numbers in training of the technicians who support the highly-trained scientists. If the expensive education which the latter have enjoyed is to be properly used, it is necessary that these men should not be employed on tasks which could be done by others who have had a purely technical training.

As several noble Lords have reminded us, there is another factor to be borne in mind if we are to read these figures correctly. The demand described in the figures is fundamentally a demand for scientists as scientists, in vocational posts. But there is a widespread belief, which I personally share, that science graduates are not only useful in vocational posts. Indeed, on the lower level, as the noble Earl, Lord Halsbury, pointed out, there is a growing requirement for scientists across the structure of industry, as salesmen and in other capacities.

But it is not only there, as certain noble Lords reminded us—certainly the noble Lord, Lord Walston, and the noble Lord, Lord Shackleton—that scientists can be employed. Sir Stafford Cripps had a degree in chemistry, unless I am mistaken, as I believe also had the late Lord Waverley. Yet positions such as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Queen's Counsel, Lord President of the Council, and President of the Board of Trade, are, of course, not included in the statistics. In other words, the increasing need for people educated in science and engineering in professional callings like the Bar, in government, a good deal of management, or administration, is not and could not be taken into account in the figures. There may none the less be a very great need.

I do not think this should cause us to criticise the Committee. The need is recognised in the Reports, but it is quite rightly omitted from the figures. Here I think it is fair to quote paragraphs 14 and 15 of the Introduction to the Report, when the Committee said: In our view the possibility that there will be a surplus of scientists over immediate 'demands for employment' should be welcomed. It should make possible a rational, as opposed to an emergency, use of the scientific disciplines. It should mean that at long last we shall have a supply of qualified manpower with a scientific training for management, administration, and the professions generally, in addition to those who up to the present have been drawn inevitably into vocational employment. We do not doubt that scientific education will adjust itself to this new prospect; and that in the same way as only a proportion of those trained in the classics and history have expected to find employment in their own fields of study, an increasing proportion of those trained in specialised scientific disciplines will obtain employment outside them. We think that both science and the nation will benefit from this adjustment. We believe that there are already indications that universities are thinking along those lines. Then, paragraph 15 says this: The balancing of supply and demand is a relative, not an absolute, assessment; and however much we have already achieved we must guard against complacency. We are glad to note that the Statistics Committee is paying particular attention to the prospects of more effective comparisons with the output of trained scientists in other countries, and we hope that they will find it possible to draw authoritative comparisons. There are many other problems posed by the major expansion of our output of qualified manpower: the size of the reserves of ability on which we can draw; the problem of quality and the appropriate claims of disciplines in arts as well as science other than those we have considered. These issues belong to general educational policy; and we are pleased that they are within the field of investigation of Lord Robbins's Committee on Higher Education. I think that those two paragraphs show that many of the arguments which have been presented from all corners of the House during the debate were accepted by the Committee, although they do not reflect themselves in the quantitative analysis with which the Committee were more immediately preoccupied.

In marked contrast to the general note of optimism in the Report is the reference to the 'prospect of a continuing shortage of mathematicians. I cannot deal with this in any detail today; but something needs to be said here and now. There are grounds for believing that the shortage of teachers of mathematics in the schools is severe enough to imperil not only the future of the subject but wide sectors of our scientific effort as a whole.

I have no doubt that the universities and the colleges of technology will respond to this threat as they have responded to the need to expand our scientific manpower in general—with the striking success we have noted to-day. But there is not much time, and much has to be done, if we are to have not only the mathematical specialists who can contribute to our research effort, but also sufficient numbers of soundly-educated teachers of mathematics in the schools who alone can give substance to our scientific output. Many observers have called attention to the massive mathematical attainments of the Soviet schools. We cannot afford to let this opportunity slip to rectify an important element in our educational system, and I welcome the efforts which are now being made to solve the problem: I hope they will rapidly bear fruit.

I now come to the second sentiment in the motion of my noble friend Lord Caldecote—the need to devote more resources to research and development in industry. The particular motive my noble friend gives for this is to enable our exports to compete effectively in world trade. The only criticism of this Motion that I would make as Minister for Science is that on the whole it is too narrow. Research, at least, is needed over a much wider field of activity than industry—or indeed than natural science—and the object of research must often just as much include the advancement of knowledge, the increase of culture and social efficiency, as the direct encouragement of exports. Medical research has as its primary object health as such, and agricultural research is often as much a substitute for international trade as a means of increasing it.

To press this point would perhaps be over-critical; I welcome the Motion, and with the slight gloss I have given it I fully endorse its sentiments. But I would go further, and emphasise the need for research in all human studies as the only way, in the long run, in which they can be advanced and kept alive at all. Certainly, in concentrating on the need for more research in industry, as distinct from academic research, my noble friend has chosen the field where the need is greatest.

For on the academic side—though I should not like to be thought at all complacent—there has in fact been a spectacular increase of effort in the last four years. I have already dealt with the manpower situation; but dealing solely with the question of research awards, and limiting myself to D.S.I.R. —as the largest of the Councils for which I am responsible—I would say that the training awards in new post-graduate research studentships increased by 70 per cent. between 1957 and 1961. The increase in university research grants has been even more dramatic. Before my first term of office as Lord President, D.S.I.R. made only 47 such grants, totalling in value £400,000. For the last complete year the comparable figures are 363 (as compared with 47) and £2,970,000 (as compared with £400,000). I am not saying that this is good enough, but I do say that it justifies my noble friend in concentrating on the industrial side.

Here I think I must owe an apology to industry. I am afraid that my only utterances about industry which are reported are the slightly disagreeable things I feel it my duty to say from time to time about the state of research and development. I do not complain of this, but I should like to put it on record that, were I the Minister for Science in the Soviet Union (incidentally, they have not got one), I should be saying far more disagreeable things about Soviet agriculture and agricultural machines, Soviet biology and medicine, Soviet consumer goods and Soviet light engineering products—all of which, by and large, are far behind our own in terms of scientific backing and scientific production, and therefore in terms of quality, design, and efficiency. I should also have some fairly rough things to say if I were Minister for Science in the U.S.A., Germany, France, or Italy. I do not believe in selling Britain short in the technological any more than in the economic field.

Nevertheless, the very nature of my office leads me to complain when I feel we are not good enough; and there are many such fields. In surveying British engineering and British industry as a whole, I see two great needs which ought to dominate our thinking technologically. These are, first, that British industry in general should be based on advanced technology so that it may keep abreast or ahead of its main competitors—this was a point made by my noble friend Lord Caldecote and repeated at the end of the debate by the noble Lord, Lord Taylor; secondly, that the traditional craft industries should no longer continue to be craftsman-based, but should employ technologists with a more flexible outlook, who will need to keep a continuous watch for new ideas worth applying.

I agree with those noble Lords who have spoken that, among other factors, our entry into the Common Market will accentuate the urgency of these needs (this was one point made by the noble Lord from the Cross Benches) since although Britain can challenge comparison with any country in Europe as regards her science—and, indeed, as regards some technologies, notably nuclear engineering—this is, I am afraid, not so as regards engineering generally, and specifically it is not so in the case of engineering design.

I think, therefore, that my noble friend is correct in pinpointing the need for research and development within industry. And here I would venture to insist with him that in the last resort this is something where, although Government may help, industry must in the end meet its needs itself. I ventured in the economic debate to make this point about our economic future in general, and about economic planning. I make it now more specifically about technology. And by industry I do not mean only management; I mean the unions too. In America the permanent staffs of the great unions keep highly-paid research workers to maintain a watchful eye to see that the employers devote enough of their resources to research and development. For, they argue—and to my mind quite rightly—that it is upon such use of resources that future increases in wages very largely depend.

My Lords, you have never heard me in this House advocating the use of the strike weapon, and I do not do se now. But I should be a great deal less depressed about the future of British industry were I to read that the shop stewards in a motor-car factory had called an unofficial strike because too little was being spent on research and development, than I am when I read about tea-breaks and demarcation disputes. There could he no quicker way of stimulating management out of what may be sometimes its complacency than for workers to take the lead in demanding a more advanced technology. But, my Lords, a debate in Parliament naturally revolves around Government responsibility, and here I would agree with my noble friend, Lord Marks of Broughton, in asking questions as to how the Government can help.

Although I stick to what I have just said, I should like now to turn to a few examples of the way in which one of the Government's main agencies in the field—namely, the D.S.I.R.—can, and does, advance technology in the industrial sphere. My Lords, I was very grateful to my noble friend Lord Caldecote, who referred to the 15 Research Stations of the D.S.I.R. Of course, their work does to a very great extent help Government Departments, or publicly-owned industries and services. But many of them, particularly the National Engineering Laboratory, the Warren Spring Laboratory, the Ship Division of the National Physical Laboratory (and, indeed, the National Physical Laboratory throughout), the Forest Products Research Laboratory, the National Chemical Laboratory, the Building Research Station, and the Torry Research Station at Aberdeen, also do a great deal of work that is of great importance to private industry.

Let me give your Lordships a few examples. The tower cranes, for instance, which have now become such an established and familiar feature of our landscape, have been introduced into this country directly as a result of the work of the Building Research Station. A new hydrostatic transmission, so versatile that its principle may be used equally to provide drive to a submarine and to a machine tool, is being developed in the National Engineering Laboratory. The National Engineering Laboratory, in conjunction with the National Physical Laboratory and private industry, has also carried on extremely promising work on the development of machine tool control with the use of diffraction gratings. The Forest Products Research Laboratory has developed kiln-seasoning techniques which can enormously reduce the amount of stock needed to be kept idle by timber-using industries, and can at the same time speed up the rate of factory production.

The Torry Research Station has been doing research work on kipper smoking, cod freezing, and the development of deep-freeze on trawlers, which could benefit the fishing industry and the consumer equally. The new ship tank near Teddington, which was recently inaugurated by the Duke of Edinburgh, has enabled hull design to be studied and improved in ways which can save millions to the shipbuilding and ship-owning interests. The National Chemical Laboratory has been carrying on studies of extraction processes which have made it possible, in the application of the results to uranium ores, to keep down the price of nuclear power. I could go on enumerating work of this kind. I have selected only a few items of special interest to private industry which I happen to have inspected in my term of office; and I have not mentioned the notable economies and advances which the work of the stations has helped to secure in the public sector—for instance, in the design of roads, bridges and school buildings.

I was grateful to my noble friend Lord Marks of Broughton and to the noble Viscount, Lord Caldecote, and to other speakers, who have fastened on the co-operative research associations, as distinct from Government stations, as an area in which Government can perhaps do more to foster research in industry. I agree with my noble friend that we have been right to abandon the idea that they will ever be self-supporting, although I do not quite agree with his suggestion, if that was what he intended, that the appropriate way to do this would be by way of a straight increase in the Government grant. It may very well be that some increase in grant would be desirable, but the policy of the D.S.I.R. has been consistently to encourage the belief that co-operative research is good for an industry and good for the individual firms within an industry, and that it is not unreasonable to expect industry to pay for what increases its profits. The Government grants, therefore, have been used deliberately to create an incentive to form new associations and to carry them through the first difficult years. Despite amalgamations, which my noble friend Lord Caldecote will be glad to hear I have in suitable cases deliberately encouraged, the number of associations has increased during my term of office to fifty. In the last ten years, the proportion of Government grants to industrial contribution has fallen from 1:1.65 to 1:2.60, while the absolute value of the grant has risen by about 60 per cent. This means that the industrial income has doubled.

Nevertheless, I think the time has come for a "shake up" in the research association field. I have asked the new chairman of the D.S.I.R.—to whom, incidentally, I should like publicly to wish good fortune in his new office—to make this a special concern of his. There are, I believe, a number of ways in which we can encourage activity in this field. But, my Lords, I must emphasise that over the whole of the industrial field an approach which relies solely or even principally, or even primarily, on taxpayers' money as a source of finance is, in our system of society, doomed to failure. The need for research is much wider and much more universal than can be met in this way. What is really wanted is for businesses of all sizes to realise the importance of research to themselves, research not merely into science and engineering, but into the human and operational problems involved in production (as I think my noble friend Lord Marks of Broughton said in a similar connection), and not merely on an individual basis but on a co-operative basis, too. This is indeed the answer to the point about competition and the possibility of there being too much, which was mentioned both by the noble Lord, Lord Taylor, and by my noble friend Lord Caldecote. Even if firms are too small to conduct research, as many of them are, they are not too small to pay modest subscriptions—ranking, incidentally, for income tax relief—to their research or trade associations; and they are never too small, or at least they should not be too small, to seek out and apply to their own firms the results of other people's experience in research, much of which is available to them quite freely in trade papers and scientific publications.

Whilst, of course, the D.S.I.R. must principally encourage industrial research through the stations and through the co-operative research associations, I should like to mention two other promising fields which they have opened up since I first made their acquaintance in 1957. The first is in the work of the Economic' Committee, founded four years ago, in promoting particular studies to provide information essential to future policy. Their first task was to try to find out which resources were scarce and how they were being used. They found that some industries of vital importance were apparently doing little research and development, and employing surprisingly few scientists and engineers. This preliminary survey led to a series of more detailed economic and technical studies of particular industries. Two of them, on machine tools and shipbuilding, have already been completed, and several others are in progress.

My Lords, I should like to illustrate the work of this Committee by reference to the machine tool project, which I think has been in its way outstandingly successful. The inquiry was in essence a catalyst bringing about a decisive change of atmosphere, and a series of beneficial reactions throughout the industry which have not yet worked themselves out. It was, itself, an act of constructive co-operation between the industry and the Government. Without this co-operation very little could have been achieved. The inquiry led to the conclusion that, because the industry was seriously short of designers, something should be done as a matter of urgency about training engineers in machine tool technology. As a result of the recommendations, and of continued co-operation between Government and industry, the subject has been thoroughly aired with the authorities responsible for technical training, and the industry has taken a much greater interest in education. The design scholarship course, which it has sponsored at Manchester College of Science and Technology, is, I am told, proving a great success. Schools of research are being developed in four institutions, and D.S.I.R. have awarded to these institutions research grants amounting to £170,000. Two major design and research conferences have been held, and now the industry has set up its own research association, which also receives a D.S.I.R. grant.

In addition, the National Engineering Laboratory is making, I would say, an impressive effort in this field, which is appreciated by the leading firms in industry. Finally, several projects for civil development contracts, to which the noble Lord, Lord Taylor, referred in the latter part of his speech, are under inves- tigation. My one regret is that we had to wait for a D.S.I.R. investigation to achieve all this. But it is a matter of some satisfaction that through it all the Department and industry gave such an excellent example of co-operation.

My Lords, this brings me to the last new development which I wish to describe in this field. For some time, and quite independently of the work of the Economics Committee, the D.S.I.R. has concerned itself with the problem of large-scale development work as such. As I think I have explained to your Lordships more than once, this presents peculiar difficulties in fields where the Government are not the ultimate users of the hardware, and where the manufacturers are ordinary commercial firms operating for profit

But major technological developments have become progressively more expensive in recent years, and some may be beyond the reach of even the larger firms. The D.S.I.R. has therefore been considering the use of civil development contracts to complement the work of the National Research Development Corporation in support of science-based development in industry. I am happy to say that it has now received authority to proceed with two major projects, and I have no doubt that an announcement will be made soon. If these projects succeed, we may have achieved a major break-through in the relationships between Government and industry in the encouragement of science.

My Lords, I cannot conclude without reverting to the close connection between the two parts of these Motions: manpower—including the whole educational pattern—and resources. Each reacts immediately on the other, for we cannot use resources scientifically unless there is available a growing supply of educated and trained manpower to conduct the necessary research and development. But if I am asked where is the growing point—for instance, which comes first, the chicken or the egg—where is the point at which the new life must be infused. I point unhesitatingly to the educational pattern: to school education, where there is need for an injection of science into the curriculum at a far earlier age, and where there is an immense shortage of science and mathematical teachers; to the percentage—growing, but still quite insufficient—of pupils staying on after the age of 15; to the growing number of pupils taking the Ordinary National Certificate, the Higher National Certificate, and the City and Guilds courses; to the great need of a thorough overhaul of our systems of training craftsmen through apprenticeship and technicians through the technical colleges; to the immense pressure on university places; to the need for training postgraduate researchers both in the study of design, production, and technological improvement generally, and in the work of advancing the frontiers of knowledge; and, finally, to the ever present shortage, which cannot be removed, of men of dedication and genius on whose devotion and creative inspiration, in the long run, the efforts of all depend. My Lords, I thank all the noble Lords who have taken part in this debate for their contributions, and I congratulate them on making it a most interesting occasion.

6.43 p.m.


My Lords, I think we have had a most useful debate, and I should like to join other noble Lords in congratulating the noble Lord, Lord Marks of Broughton, on his splendid maiden speech. I hope we shall hear him many more times. I think there has been general support for the view that the conclusion in the Scientific Manpower Report that there is going to be a surplus in 1970 is a very dangerous one, and I hope a message will go out from this House that we do not agree with that, because of the hidden requirements for scientists and engineers which have been touched on to-day in administration, in production and in other fields.

I was very glad that the right reverend Prelate, the Lord Bishop of Sheffield, was able to take part in the debate, because I am sure we are all agreed that it is of the utmost importance that the Church should not get out of touch with industry in this rapidly increasing technical age. There was one particular point that the noble Earl, Lord Halsbury, brought out and which I thought was most important: that it is all too difficult in research and development to "strike lucky", particularly when our resources are limited and we cannot cover too wide a field. It is is therefore even more important in our case to go ahead rapidly when we do have the good fortune to "strike lucky". I am sure that one of the things that the Government should do in this field is to make every effort they can to speed up their rate of decision taking.

I would mention one point in connection with the research associations. I hope that the noble Viscount the Minister for Science will ask his new chairman of the D.S.I.R. to look particularly at the desirability of providing adequate capital grants to the research associations. That will do much to encourage staff to go to them and to make industry employ them to the full. My Lords, may I conclude by thanking all noble Lords who have taken part in the debate and who have supported my Motion and that of the noble Lord, Lord Shackleton? I hope the debate has served a useful purpose; and I ask leave to withdraw my Motion.

Motion for Papers, by leave, withdrawn.

6.45 p.m.


My Lords, it is a little late for me now to move my Motion on the Scientific Manpower Report, but the fact that I am not going to do so causes me no great pain, first, because we shall shortly have another opportunity for a debate when the Advisory Council's Report is out, and, secondly, because I thought the noble Viscount made one of the best of the many good speeches I have heard him make. Indeed, if I may say so, I think he was even more successful than he was last week in "Face to Face" on television. I think he has succeeded, as have other noble Lords, in removing much of the damage that this interesting Report might have caused, and in pulling much of the good out of it, as well as making his own very imaginative contributions, as other noble Lords have made theirs. In these circumstances I shall not move my Motion.