HC Deb 22 July 1983 vol 46 cc243-4W
Mr. Michael Forsyth

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what attempts have been made, since they were set up, to evaluate the work of the research councils; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Brooke

All the research councils, which operate under Royal charters, make arrangements based essentially on peer review for the monitoring and assessment of their scientific research. My right hon. Friend is advised on his responsibilities for the state of civil science, with particular reference to the research council system and to the allocation of the science budget, by the Advisory Board for the research councils. The accounts of the research councils are open to examination by the Comptroller and Auditor General.

Beyond that, in 1981 the Department started regular reviews of the research councils in pursuance of the Government's general arrangements for periodically reviewing all non-departmental public bodies; a Rayner review of research council support services is nearing completion; and a pilot study of the relations between the Department and the science and engineering research council is in progress as part of the Department's activities under the Government's financial management initiative.

Mr. Stanley


Mr. Best

asked the Secretary of State for Defence, for the years 1981–82, how many men and women have been required to leave each of the three armed services by way of administrative discharge because they were known to be homosexual, no charge having been preferred against them.

Mr. Stanley

During the two years 1981 and 1982 there were 37 administrative discharges from the Royal Navy, 149 from the Army and 90 from the RAF involving homosexuals. In the time available it has not been possible to identify the proportion of those discharges in the Army in which a charge was preferred, but it is likely to be small. The breakdown is as follows: