HC Deb 17 March 1955 vol 538 cc137-8W
Mr. C. I. Orr-Ewing

asked the Prime Minister when the Royal Commission on Awards to Inventors will complete its work.

The Prime Minister

The Queen, by a Royal Warrant dated 17th March, 1955, has required the Commission to hear and determine all such claims as may have been referred to it by 15th April next. I understand that the Commission expects to be able to complete the hearing of claims soon after that date and will then prepare and present its final Report.

The Commission, under its terms of reference,considers only those claims which have been referred to it by the appropriate Government Departments. The final date for the submission of claims to those Government Departments was, as stated in a Treasury notice of 8th August, 1949, established at 31stDecember, 1949.

As stated in the Commission's Second Report, the expiry of the time limits will not debar a claimant who bases his claim upon a patent or registered design from presenting his claim in the High Court under the provisions of the Patents and Designs Acts. Apart from claims covered by those Acts, appeals from Departmental awards will, in future, be referred, in the case of Crown Servants, to the Central Committee on Awards and, in other cases, to an arbitrator appointed by mutual agreement. The Central Committee on Awards is being reconstituted and Sir John Forster has kindly consented to act as Chairman.

I take this opportunity of expressing the warm thanks of Her Majesty's Government to the noble and learned Lord, Lord Cohen, and his fellow Commissioners for the great care and devotion with which they have carried out their difficult task.