HC Deb 23 December 1981 vol 15 cc414-5W
Mr. Hoyle

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how much money has been given by the Science Research Council to the South African Astronomical Observatory since their joint project commenced.

Mr. William Shelton

The joint project is governed by an agreement signed in December 1971. From April 1972 to March 1981 the Science and Engineering Research Council's contributions amounted to £1.642 million, this figure being the total of the cash amounts paid. Astronomers from the United Kingdom make considerable demands on the observatory's telescopes, which are very well placed for observations of the southern sky. I understand that the council considers that it gets good value for its contributions.