§ 11.35 a.m.
§ The Chairman
I do not propose calling any of the proposed Amendments to Clause I. The Amendment standing in the name of the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Chelsea (Commander Noble)—in page 1, line 8, at end, add:by assisting and fostering private research and development and by a programme of Government-conducted research and development, in order to encourage maximum scientific progress "—could perhaps be discussed on the Question "That the Clause stand part of the Bill." The Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Gower (Mr. Grenfell)—in line 8, at the end, to add: 496(2) There shall be established a General Advisory Council of not less than seven persons appointed by the Minister to advise him on the exercise of all his powers and duties under this Act"—could more properly be put forward in the form of a new Clause.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."
§ Commander Noble (Chelsea)
I have very little to add to what I said on this subject during the Second Reading Debate. Of course, I put down the Amendment on the Paper before the Second Reading, and, as I said in that Debate, I did consider the Bill was a little unbalanced on the side of encouragement for research; there was a large negative side of the Bill, with very little encouragement. In view of the assurance given by the Prime Minister in presenting the Bill, and in view of what the Minister of Supply said, I realise that although it is not in the Bill the Government have it very much in mind. I hope the Minister will be able to give us another assurance today, and I also hope he will think of including some words such as those which I have put on the Order Paper.
§ Major Bruce (Portsmouth, North)
I should like to ask the Minister for a little clarification on the wording of the Clause. In line 8 there appears the word "development." My hon. Friends and myself put down an Amendment, in page 1, line 8, after "development," to insert "manufacture and supply." I am given to understand that from the legal point of view "development" in fact includes "manufacture and supply." I was a little surprised to hear this, because in the accountancy profession, at any rate, a development is something considerably different from manufacture and supply. If the Minister would give us a little clarification on that we would be very much indebted.
The Minister of Supply (Mr. John Wil-mot)
I very willingly give the further assurance for which the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Chelsea (Commander Noble) has asked. That would, I think, make the Amendment which he put down on the Order Paper quite unnecessary. Clearly, the duty of fostering research is laid on the Minister by the Bill. As I said during the Second Reading Debate, I can give an absolute undertaking that that duty will be pursued with every 497 energy possible. I do not think it would in any way strengthen the position if the words the hon. and gallant Member originally sought to include were accepted, because it would merely require the Minister to do what he is already required to do. With regard to the point raised by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for North Portsmouth (Major Bruce), I am told the word "development" does, in its legal meaning, include sale and production, and that in fact to put in the extra words might limit the generality of development and defeat the object which my hon. and gallant Friend has in mind.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.