§ Mr. Maude
As the Government's White Paper "Civil Research and Development" (Cm. 185 published in July 1987) made clear, we accept that there is a need to emphasise to shareholders arid managers the value of research development. It is for companies to ensure that their bankers and major shareholders understand the advantage of R and D. The reporting of R and D expenditure in annual accounts will promote this understanding. The case for disclosure is, however, mainly relevant to public companies. I therefore very much 113W welcome the decision of the Accounting Standards Committee to recommend a standard which would require such companies to disclose expenditure on R and D. Such a standard, if adopted by the accountancy bodies and complied with by public companies, would be preferable to legislation on this subject. I therefore hope that the ASC's recommendation will be acted on promptly.