HC Deb 13 April 1926 vol 194 cc27-8W

asked the Prime Minister whether the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research is cognisant of the detailed programmes and progress of research work carried out by other Government Departments; whether it is empowered to prevent duplication of research effort carried out by or on behalf of Government Departments; to limit research work carried out by other Departments to such services as cannot be advantageously centralised or carried out on behalf of the Government by industrial or scientific bodies; and whether it works in conjunction with the research organisations of the research organisations of British Overseas Governments?

Lord E. PERCY:

I have been asked to reply to this question. In accordance with the terms of reference of its coordinating boards and committees, the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research receives programmes of the research work undertaken by the various Government Departments represented thereon, and is enabled to provide for interchange of information between Government technical establishments concerning the special work which they undertake and the results achieved, with a view to preventing duplication of work. Also, by means of periodical conferences between representatives of the Research Department, Development Commission and Medical Research Council, these bodies are able to maintain touch with each other in relation to research work of common interest.

The Department of Scientific and Industrial Research has not, however, any executive control over the scope or conduct of research work in other Departments. Where possible the Department takes active steps to bring to the notice of interested Government Departments the results of research carried out by industrial and scientific organisations; from time to time it further arranges for co-operation between such organisations and Government Departments in the investigation of important problems of mutual interest.

As regards the last part of the question, the Department is in close touch with the research organisations of the British overseas Governments, and has cooperated with Dominion and Colonial Governments in the conduct of certain investigations in which the overseas Government concerned and this country have been mutually interested.