asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether, in conformity with the recommendation of the Select Committee on National Expenditure, he will, for the purposes of the war, establish an organisation with specified responsibility for directing and knitting together all development and research in respect of merchant shipbuilding, and will also appoint a technical intelligence staff to work in close association with the research group?
The recommendations contained in the Seventeenth Report from the Select Committee are at present under consideration in the Admiralty, and, among them, the recommendation to which my hon. Friend refers. In considering whether it is desirable or possible to establish any closer contact between the Merchant Shipbuilding Department on the one hand, and the Classification Societies, the National Physical Laboratory, the Directorate of Scientific Research at the Admiralty and the technical staffs of shipbuilding firms on the other, I shall of course give close attention to the observations of the Select Committee. I should point out, however, that the existing organisation which deals with this matter in the department of the Director of Merchant Shipbuilding has the closest possible contact with, and co-operation from, these bodies.