§ 35. Mr. Awbery
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the total amount spent annually by Her Majesty's Government on research work; what proportion of this is devoted to military purposes, and how much to the health development of the nation.
§ The Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Anthony Barber)
The available information does not distinguish between research expenditure and development expenditure. Total Government expenditure on research and development is of the order of £400 million a year; about three-fifths of this is for defence, where development work is the major element. Expenditure by the Government on health and medical research, including an allowance for that at universities, is about £15 million a year.
§ Mr. Awbery
Can the hon. Gentleman explain why his Department is always so parsimonious and cheeseparing when it comes to expenditure on health whereas expenditure on destruction or research work for destruction is given out ad lib?
§ Mr. Barber
As I think I indicated, the figures for defence and health are not really comparable because the proportions spent on development work as distinct from research are greater in the case of defence than for health. In view of the hon. Gentleman's observations, however, I should point out that the total of Government expenditure provided in the current Estimates for health and welfare is £768 million.