HC Deb 22 February 1945 vol 408 cc975-6W
Mr. Salt

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, having regard to the important part played by physics in the war, to the post-war needs for numbers of highly-trained physicists in the Services and industry and to the interruption in the work of the university laboratories during the war, what plans the Government have to endow and foster research and training in physics in the universities and elsewhere.

Sir J. Anderson

The Government fully recognise the importance of the role of the physicist both in war and in peace, and the urgent need for repairing the ravages of the war in research and education. As regards the universities, I have recently announced large present and prospective increases in the Government grant. Its allocation is a matter in the first instance for the University Grants Committee. I am assured that they have very much in mind the needs of physical science, and I understand that preliminary programmes received from the universities include substantial proposals for developments in this sphere. The plans of the Minister of Education and of local education authorities for the extension of technical education will also certainly include increased provision for the teaching of physics. The funds available for grants to industrial research associations have been increased. The Government's own establishments which carry on research in physics and allied sciences have been greatly extended during the war. The point raised in the Question is being taken into account in considering the post-war establishment.

It was also stressed in the Second Report of Lord Hankey's Committee on Further Education and Training, and my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour is fully aware of its importance. My hon. Friend will therefore realise that action on the lines which he desires is being planned over a wide front.