§ 126. Mr. M. MacPherson
asked the Minister of Supply whether he will make a statement on the recently-announced plans for development in the electronics industry.
§ Mr. M. Stewart
Details of this scheme have already appeared in the Press, but my right hon. Friend and I are glad to take this opportunity of telling the House that we welcome it.135W
The Ministry of Supply and the Admiralty both need more capacity for research and development work in electronics. The Government fully shares the desire of everyone in Scotland to see new industries set up there and we therefore welcomed the Scottish Council's proposals, supported, as they were, by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland, that additional Government contracts for research and development work in electronics and for instrument making should be placed with experienced firms and that a considerable part of the work should be carried out, with the help and guidance of the parent firm, on subcontract by firms who had not before done this kind of work. We have had very cordial discussions with the Scottish Council and a number of Scottish firms on the practical questions involved and a start can now be made on the scheme, which will, of course, take time to develop fully.
Messrs. Ferranti Ltd., who have been established in Edinburgh for some time will be the first parent firm. We intend to add to the number of parent firms as experience is gained.