§ Mr. Latham
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science on what date he received a copy of Sir Clifford Butler's report on geological surveying; when he received the comments of the Natural Environment Research Council and the British Geological Survey upon it; and if he will now announce his decision on the recommendation that the British Geological Survey should be separated from the Natural Environment Research Council.
The report of the study group into geological surveying, chaired by Sir Clifford Butler, was addressed to the chairmen of the Advisory Board for the Research Councils and the Natural Environment Research Council, who submitted it to my right hon. Friend in June 1987 with a recommendation that it be published. The views of the BGS staff were sent to the chairmen of the ABRC and the NERC and copied to my Department on 10 August 1987.
The recommendations of the report that fall to be considered by Government are being discussed with the Departments concerned and with the NERC. A decision 311W on the future status of the British Geological Survey will be reached in conjunction with decisions on other relevant recommendations in the report.