Building Research.

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Commerce. – in the House of Commons on 9th June 1942.

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Photo of Mr Alfred Bossom Mr Alfred Bossom , Maidstone

asked the Lord President of the Council what are the annual expenses of the Building Research Station; who provides these funds; and are the materials and processes that it has approved available for use by anyone without the further approval of either Parliament or the Ministry of Health?

Photo of Sir John Anderson Sir John Anderson , Combined Scottish Universities

The estimated gross expenditure during the current financial year for the Building Research organisation of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research is £80,183. The funds are provided from the Vote of the Department (Civil Estimate, Class 6, Vote 15). The results of research work carried out at the Building Research Station are generally made freely available by publication through the Stationery Office or in appropriate journals. The application by builders of such results in any locality is, of course, subject to compliance with the Building By-laws in force there but does not otherwise require further approval.

Photo of Mr Alfred Bossom Mr Alfred Bossom , Maidstone

Seeing that this work is done at the public expense, is it not desirable that the public should get the benefit of it right away without having to apply to other agencies, such as the councils to which the right hon. Gentleman has referred?

Photo of Sir John Anderson Sir John Anderson , Combined Scottish Universities

As my hon. Friend will appreciate, my concern is primarily with research as such, but certainly, I would not wish to see the results of useful research sterilised by the operation of out of date by-laws, and if that is the point which he has in mind, and if he can give me some instances, I will see whether anything can be done.

Photo of Mr Alfred Bossom Mr Alfred Bossom , Maidstone

Could it not be made a general regulation for the entire country?

Photo of Mr Thomas Levy Mr Thomas Levy , Elland

Is not the object of these researches the benefit of the public as a whole, and is not this secretiveness against the purpose for which the Research Station was created?

Photo of Sir John Anderson Sir John Anderson , Combined Scottish Universities

I have made quite clear in my answer that there is no secretiveness. The policy is to publish these results.