HC Deb 26 July 1968 vol 769 cc256-7W
Mr. Roebuck

asked the Postmaster-General what payments are made into public funds by private firms which have access to the techniques and expertise acquired by his Department's research team.

Mr. Stonehouse

The techniques and expertise, to which I referred in my Answer to a Question from my hon. Friend on 19th July, consist of the standard of cleanliness required during manufacture of the transistors, the methods of handling the raw materials and of detecting hidden blemishes in the finished product, and the standards for acceptance or rejection.

It is our normal practice to charge industry suitable fees for the use in their commercial business of patents and designs which result from our research. We have about 200 of these agreements, including one for a bonding machine used in the manufacture of transistors. We have not charged industry a fee for looking at our transistor laboratories because many of the transistors which industry makes will be used in our submarine cable systems and it is in our interests, as well as in the interests of exports, for them to acquire similar manufacturing expertise.—[Vol. 768, c. 287.]