§ Mr. Greg Knight
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what was the level of public financial support for the Agricultural Research Council for 1979–80, 1980–81, 1981–82 and 1982–83; and what arrangements he has for monitoring the use to which this financial support is put.
§ Mr. Brooke
Grants-in-aid to the Agricultural Research Council have been made from the Science Budget as follows:
£ million 1979–80 28.8 1980–81 35.0 1981–82 42.1 1982–83 43.6
In addition, the council has received monies over the same period from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in respect of research commissioned by that Ministry from the council. Detailed figures would be for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture to supply.
The council is broadly free, within the purposes set out in its Royal Charter, to decide how to spend its grant-in-aid. Its grant-in-aid is, however, subject to regular scrutiny under the normal requirement of public accounting; and its proposed programmes are examined each year by the advisory board for the research councils (ABRC) as part of the ABRC's procedures for formulating advice to my right hon. Friend on the distribution of the science budget, and, more widely, on his responsibilities for civil science with particular reference to the research council system.