HL Deb 11 July 1968 vol 294 cc1081-2

3.11 p.m.


My Lords, I beg leave to ask the second Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress is being made towards the establishment of a European Technological Institute; whose advice is being sought; and what functions are envisaged for it, as distinct from those being performed by the existing technological institutions.]


My Lords, Her Majesty's Govern- ment are still engaged in informal talks with other European countries. Discussions have also taken place with the Confederation of British Industry, the Trades Union Congress and the National Economic Development Council. The Confederation of British Industry have also been discussing the question of industrial and technological co-operation with the corresponding organisations in other European countries. In the view of Her Majesty's Government there is some need for some machinery to concern itself with the analysis of the European market for particular products and the capacity of European industries to exploit the market opportunities and the examination of methods by which any deficiencies can be overcome, so that the European industries concerned can be made fully competitive in the world markets.


My Lords, may I thank the noble Lord for that reply? I appreciate that the establishment of this Institute is not possible at present, but may I ask him whether he could at the same time tell us a little of two other proposals which I understand are also under consideration, one for a European Institute of Science and Technology which is being promoted by the working group of the North Atlantic Assembly, and another for a European Investment Development Company, made by the European Public Enterprise sector? Could he assure us that effective means are available for coordinating the consideration of these proposals and for implementing them, if approved?


My Lords, I think the question of investment is wide of the original Question, but if the noble Lord will put down another Quest on at some time we will answer it. So far as the project which is being developed under the North Atlantic Assembly is concerned, that is for an academic institute and as such is quite distinct from the United Kingdom proposal, which was for a technological centre which would have much more than academic functions and interests. So these two proposals are quite separate.