§ Mr. Dalyell
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received about the stopping of research on resistance to aphids at the Plant Breeding Institute; and what response he has given.
§ Mr. Brooke
I received two letters early last year from an hon. Member about the Agricultural and Food Research Council's decision to stop research on resistance to aphids at the Plant Breeding Institute in Cambridge. In reply, I explained that it is for the AFRC to decide and continually to review, its scientific priorities within the resources available to it; and that against that background I understood that the work on aphid resistance at the PBI had been reviewed by the institute's director and his senior staff and judged to be a relatively low priority, a view which was shared by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, which commissioned the work.