HC Deb 24 May 1966 vol 729 cc85-6W
Mr. Palmer

asked the Minister of Technology if he will make a statement on his recent visit to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Mr. Cousins

At the invitation of Academician V. A. Kirillin, Chairman of the State Committee for Science and Technology, I visited the Soviet Union from 9th-20th May with a small party of advisers. The purposes of this visit were to discuss with representatives of the Soviet Government their methods for the management and deployment of their technological resources and for the introduction of new technology into industry to see some of the advanced technological work being undertaken in research institutes; and to discuss methods of training technologists.

The programme of the visit was as follows:


  • The U.S.S.R. State Committee for Science and Technology.
  • The Presidium of the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences.
  • U.S.S.R. Gosplan.
  • Institute of Economics of U.S.S.R. Gosplan.
  • Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialised Education.
  • The Moscow Power Institute.
  • Institute of Automation and Telemechanics.
  • Computer Centre of the Academy of Sciences.


  • The Presidium of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences.
  • Institute of Automation.
  • Institute of Cybernetics of the Academy of Sciences.
  • Kiev State University.


  • The Presidium of the Siberian Department of the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences.
  • Novosibirsk State University.
  • Computer Centre.
  • Institute of Automation and Electrometrics. Institute of Nuclear Physics.
  • Institute of Hydrodynamics.
  • Institute of Mathematics (Department of Economics).

This programme of visits reflected both the general interests of my Department and the specific interests of those accompanying me. I would wish to record my appreciation of the way in which the Soviet Government responded to our par- ticular requests in regard to the content of the programme. They were all met.

We had full discussions with Mr. Kirillin and his colleagues about the organisation and operation of the State Committee for Science and Technology and its working relations with the Academy of Sciences, the Ministry of Higher Education and with Gosplan. We also discussed methods of the Soviet Government for allocating priorities to technological projects and estimating their economic value, and for the exploitation of technological resources. Additional topics covered in discussion were the role of technology in economic planning, the provision of qualified technologists and the dissemination of scientific and technological information.

In the course of visits to institutes we were shown some of the newly-developed Soviet computers and advanced work on automation and instrumentation, to which the Soviet Government attaches great importance in its declared aim of increasing output and productivity.

At the conclusion of my visit I met Mr. Kosygin. He discussed with me the importance of technology in the Soviet economy and the value of exchange between our two countries in the fields of science and technology. I expressed to him the hope that Mr. Kirillin might be able to pay a return visit to this country not too far ahead.