HC Deb 19 November 1985 vol 87 cc121-2W
28. Mr. Strang

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has had about cuts in the Agricultural Research Council budget; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Brooke

Since the announcement made on 22 January 1985 by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of a proposed reduction in the public expenditure provision for research, development and advisory services funded by the Agriculture Departments in 1986–87 and 1987–88, my right hon. Friend has received representations from the chairman of the Agricultural and Food Research Council (AFRC) concerning the possible consequences for the AFRC and particularly for the research it conducts using funds from the Department's science budget. The Department has also received 37 letters from hon. Members and other interested parties directly or via the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

The grant-in-aid from the Department's science budget to the AFRC in 1985–86 is £50.3 million. This includes £4.8 million to help meet the cost of AFRC's restructuring programme. Final advice on the 1986–87 allocation will be given by the Advisory Board for the Research Councils later this year and for 1987–88 a year later.