Oral Answers to Questions — Colonial Research Committee.

– in the House of Commons on 16th July 1942.

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Photo of Captain Sir Peter Macdonald Captain Sir Peter Macdonald , Isle of Wight

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that the four scientists appointed to the new Colonial Research Committee are all individuals with a large number of other commitments vital to the war effort; whether he intends this committee to engage on continuous and active work; and whether he will set up a sub-committee of men who can give whole-time service to the scientific colonial survey which is required?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Stockton-on-Tees

I think that I should make the position clear to my hon. and gallant Friend. My Noble Friend is looking to this Committee for the general supervision and inspiration of Colonial research, and not for detailed work. There are already bodies and organisations available to advise and assist in the carrying out of research in particular subjects, and I have no doubt that the Committee will make full use of such agencies and will not hesitate to recommend the establishment of subcommittees or any other new machinery which may be required.

Photo of Captain Sir Peter Macdonald Captain Sir Peter Macdonald , Isle of Wight

Will the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that whatever committees are appointed to carry out these researches will be able to devote sufficient time to their labours, in order to achieve useful results?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Stockton-on-Tees

Yes, because as I said in my reply, the function of this Committee is to organise research and to place it in the correct quarters, not to carry it out itself.

Photo of Captain Sir Peter Macdonald Captain Sir Peter Macdonald , Isle of Wight

Will the right hon. Gentleman set up another Committee to explain the work of this Committee?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Stockton-on-Tees

I would like to make this clear; it is an important matter. The proper way of carrying out research is not to set up rival organisations to existing bodies, but rather to organise the placing of research in the proper quarters where it can be carried on. That is the function of this Committee, to organise and manage the carrying-on of research by other agencies.