HC Deb 08 November 1982 vol 31 cc53-5W
Mr. Skeet

asked the Prime Minister what measure of support the Government have provided for the British Antarctic Survey in each of the past 10 years; how the most recent funds have been allocated; and whether any funds are provided for the British Antarctic Survey apart from financing through the Department of Education and Science.

The Prime Minister

The British Antarctic Survey receives the greater part of its funds as a grant-in-aid from the science budget of the Department of Education and Science, through the Natural Environment Research Council. In addition there is a small measure of financial support for the survey by the Falkland Islands Dependencies Government, whose funds derive from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, in respect of the Survey's base at Grytviken, South Georgia. Small amounts of income are also received from other sources, especially the sale of British Antarctic Territory stamps and, in recent years, a contribution by the government-supported Alfred Wegener Institute (West Germany).

The amounts of grant-in-aid paid to the survey from the science budget for each of the past 10 years have been:

1972–73 1,885
1973–74 2,024
1974–75 2,523
1975–76 3,209
1976–77 3,527
1977–78 4,176
1978–79 4,766
1979–80 5,186
1980–81 5,582
1981–82 7,803

The funds for the last two years have been allocated as follows:

1980–81 1981–82
Staff costs 2,647 2,950
Other recurrent costs:
Logistic vessel costs 988 957
Research and other support costs 2,156 2,264
Equipment 297 150
New Buildings at Antarctic bases 99 347
Ships' major refits 1,762
Total expenditure 6,187 8,430
Less receipts:
(i) FCO (Related to running costs of Grytviken 30 36
(ii) West German Government participation in research 130
(iii) British Antarctic Territory (largely stamp revenue) 238 135
(iv) Other, mainly Governor's Fund and lease of aircraft 337 326
5,582 7,803

As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science announced this afternoon in reply to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, North-West (Mr. Colvin), the science budget for 1983–84 will include special provision for an additional £4 million for support of the survey, over and above the level of support which is planned in any case.

Mr. Skeet

asked the Prime Minister what use has been made by the United Kingdom British Antartic Survey of inspection rights under article VII of the treaty particularly over bases under foreign jurisdiction within the British quadrant.

The Prime Minister

None. Inspections in British Antarctic Territory and elsewhere in Antarctica have been conducted by Royal Naval personnel nominated as inspectors under the treaty. The British Antarctic Survey and HMS "Endurance" have opportunities, outside the inspection provisions of the treaty, to visit foreign scientific bases in British Antarctic Territory.