HC Deb 21 December 1944 vol 406 cc1998-9W
Sir E. Graham-Little

asked the Lord President of the Council whether he can give any estimate of current annual expenditure on all branches of medical research in this country, including expenditure by Government establishments, including Service and Supply Departments and the Colonial Office, on physiology, pharmacology and pharmaceutical preparations, biochemistry, pathology, bacteriology, nutrition, ophthalmology, ophthalmic optics, clinical medicine and surgery, dentistry, public health and all other questions involved in the promotion of health and prevention of disease; and what approximate proportion of such research is financed or controlled directly by the Medical Research Council.

Mr. Attlee

It is not possible to give any comprehensive estimate of current annual expenditure on medical research in this country, as investigations in this broad field of inquiry are financed not only out of public moneys but also by private funds administered by universities and hospitals and by independent research institutes and organisations. No complete information is available about these latter resources, and only a relatively small part of the total expenditure from funds of private origin is controlled by the Medical Research Council.

As regards public funds, the main item is the expenditure of the Medical Research Council, amounting to about £290,000 in the current financial year; of this £250,000 is provided by the Parliamentary grant-in-aid and the remainder from contributions and repayments from various Government Departments and sundry credits. The total expenditure directly allocated to medical research through other Government channels is at present about £100,000 per annum, mainly on special investigations by the Services into war problems. This takes no account, however, of research undertaken by the members of medical services, with the Armed Forces and otherwise, in addition to the other duties for which they are primarily employed; nor does it take account of research done by institutions in receipt of Government grants for mainly educational work.