§ 49. Mr. Warbey
asked the Minister of Power what is his assessment of the potential contribution to low-cost electric power generation of the research and development work on the magnetoplasmadynamic process currently in progress at the Newcastle-upon-Tyne laboratories of the International Research and Development Company; and what steps he is taking to ensure that the patent rights 87W in this process are acquired by British Government agencies and not by foreign private or governmental interests.
§ Mr. Erroll
The Central Electricity Generating Board has been working since 1961 on a substantial experimental scale in this field, concentrating on the open cycle process. The Board has under consideration an expansion of its research programme in co-operation with the electrical plant industry. As regards the closed-cycle project by the International Research and Development Company, I would refer the hon. Members to the Answers which my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science gave to the hon. Member for Fife, West (Mr. W. Hamilton) and my hon. Friend the Member for Tynemouth (Dame Irene Ward) and the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, West (Dr. Bray) on 9th April.
§ Mr. W. Hamilton
asked the Minister of Power what steps he is taking to encourage the production of cheaper electricity by means of the closed cycle magnetoplasmadynamic generator successfully developed recently at the Newcastle-upon-Tyne laboratories of the International Research and Development Company.
§ Mr. Erroll
I would refer the hon. Member to the answer to similar questions on this subject which I gave today to the hon. Member for East Ham, South (Mr. Oram) and the hon. Member for Ashfield (Mr. Warbey).