§ Sir John Biggs-Davison
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the extent of financial and other assistance to be given to the British Antarctic Survey in 1982–83 and 1983–84.
§ Mr. William Shelton
In 1982–83 it is estimated that expenditure on the British Antarctic Survey—BAS—will be £7,318,000, of which about £607,000 will be provided by sources other than the Department's science budget. I refer my hon. Friend to the written answer given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to a question by my hon. Friend the Member for Bedford (Mr. Skeet) on 8 November in which she gave more detailed information about the various sources of funding for the BAS.
The distribution of the science budget for 1983–84 has not yet been decided by my right hon. Friend. However, as he announced on 8 November, there will be additional funding of £4 million available for the BAS in 1983–84, over and above whatever level of support is planned for that year in any case. The "basic" support for the BAS in 1983–84 is likely to be at a similar level to that in 1982–83.
Because of the effects of the Falklands crisis, it is not known at present what level of support might be provided by the Falkland Islands Dependencies Government for the maintenance of the research base at Grytviken, South Georgia, for 1982–83 or 1983–84. In any case, even the full amount from that source, as it was envisaged before the events of April 1982, would be small by comparison with the grant-in-aid from the science budget.