HC Deb 18 April 2000 vol 348 c424W
Mr. Field

To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the dates on which meetings were held between Her Majesty's Government and the French Government on the Synchrotron project; and if he will make a statement on the nature of the French Government's representations on the siting of the Synchrotron. [117103]

The Prime Minister

[holding answer 3 April 2000]: I am advised that officials from the UK Government and the French Government met on 15 September 1999, 4 November 1999 and 13 December 1999 to discuss the new synchrotron project. On 14 October 1999 my noble Friend the Minister for Science had a private discussion with the French Minister for Research and Education who stated that it would be more acceptable for the French if the synchrotron were to be located at the Rutherford Laboratory. My noble Friend had a further conversation with the French Minister on 9 March 2000, during which the French Minister said they would withdraw their support from the synchrotron project if the Wellcome Trust withdrew.

Both partners expressed the view that the favoured the Rutherford site. The French Education Ministry state publicly that This site was strongly supported by the French partners in the project and we are delighted with this choice.

The Wellcome Trust stated that they would withdraw from the partnership if the decision was taken to locate the project at Daresbury.