§ 3. Mr. Tilney
asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what are now the functions of the Colonial Research Council.
§ Mr. Iain Macleod
The Colonial Research Council was dissolved in August, 1959. Its functions as an advisory and co-ordinating body now fall to the Overseas Research Council which is responsible to my right hon. and noble Friend the Minister for Science, and operates in relation to overseas research generally.
§ Mr. Tilney
Would my right hon. Friend confirm that many millions of pounds of taxpayers' money has been channelled to great advantage to the Commonwealth through the old Colonial Research Council, and can he say what is happening about the subsidiary committee that did such a good job for that Council?
§ Mr. Macleod
The Colonial Research Council certainly did a wonderful job and I am sure that its successor, the Overseas Research Council, will do an even better job in the future. I think I must ask my hon. Friend to put down another Question, if he would, on the details.
§ Mr. G. M. Thomson
Is it not rather disgraceful that an important step like the abolishing of this Council and the replacing of it by complicated new machinery should be taken without any sort of public announcement whatsoever? Can the right hon. Gentleman say to whom we should address Questions about colonial research now that it has been taken over by the Ministry for Science?
§ Mr. Macleod
It would follow the distribution of political Questions laid down by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister. I shall have to inquire into this point. The Council was dissolved in August, 1959. I think that it is right, in order to co-ordinate scientific effort throughout the Commonwealth countries, 611 that the advisory and co-ordinating body should be the Overseas Research Council rather than the inevitably narrower body, the Colonial Research Council.