HC Deb 29 October 1956 vol 558 cc107-8W
100. Mr. Mikardo

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power how many Governmental and non-governmental bodies are engaged on fuel research; the total of their fuel research budgets; how the work is divided between them; and how their separate activities are co-ordinated.

Mr. Aubrey Jones

The major research bodies engaged mainly on fuel research are : Ministry of Fuel and Power; Department of Scientific and Industrial Research ; National Coal Board ; Central Electricity Authority ; Gas Council; British Coal Utilisation Research Association ; British Coke Research Association ; British Electrical and Allied Industries Research Association; Coal Tar Research Association. The research budgets for these institutions amounted to £3¼ millions for the year 1954–55.

Co-ordination between the work of the two Government Departments mentioned and of the three nationalised industries is secured through frequent consultation and through the examination of their research programmes by my Scientific Advisory Council upon which all of them are represented. The Government supported research associations are autonomous bodies whose programmes are determined by their councils; these, however, contain representatives of the Government Departments and the nationalised industries concerned.

As for oil research, my Scientific Advisory Council includes a distinguished oil scientist and from time to time invites the major oil companies to furnish a qualitative statement of their research effort where this does not vitally affect their competitive position.