Scientists (University Training)

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 28th July 1949.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Morgan Price Mr Morgan Price , Forest of Dean 12:00 am, 28th July 1949

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury to what extent he estimates that the present arrangements for an increased supply of scientists from the universities is sufficient to meet the increasing demands which arise from the programme of Colonial development and which will arise if Great Britain is to co-operate adequately with the United States of America in the implementation of President Truman's Fourth Point; and what collaboration there is to be with the United States of America in the training of their scientists in our universities or the training of British scientists in the United States universities.

Photo of Mr William Hall Mr William Hall , Colne Valley

The Report of the Committee on Scientific Manpower recommended that the annual pre-war output of scientists from the universities should be doubled by 1955. That Committee, in framing their estimates of the future demand for scientists, took account of the needs of the Colonial Service. The pre-war numbers of university students in science and technology were nearly doubled by 1947–48 and numbers have continued to rise since then. I am satisfied that no greater expansion would have been practicable without a sacrifice of quality. As to the second part of the Question, arrangements have just been concluded for sending 50 British scientists and technicians to the United States with the assistance of the Economic Co-operation Administration for two years of graduate study.

Photo of Mr Morgan Price Mr Morgan Price , Forest of Dean

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind with his colleague the Minister of Education the importance of President Truman's offer in the fourth point of his inaugural address to assist in colonial development throughout the world; and is my right hon. Friend satisfied that we have the necessary scientific strength to put into force any demands that may come from that quarter?

Photo of Mr William Hall Mr William Hall , Colne Valley

Certainly, we shall bear that in mind. As my answer indicates, we are fully alive to the need for building up the number of scientists for this kind of work.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Lindsay Mr Kenneth Lindsay , Combined English Universities

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether these 50 graduates are going to American universities or to institutes of technology such as that in Massachusetts?

Photo of Mr William Gallacher Mr William Gallacher , Fife Western

In view of the very urgent need for scientists and the fact that many of the intelligent men are Communists and fellow-travellers, can we take it that no witch hunt will be directed against them?

Photo of Mr William Hall Mr William Hall , Colne Valley

The hon. Member can take it that we shall regard the men as scientists and not as politicians.

Mrs. Manning:

Can my right hon. Friend consult with the Minister of Education on the question of trying to persuade some biologists to go back into the schools to teach biology, because in past years this vicious circle has resulted in not having sufficient good scientific biologists to send to the Colonies and other places?

Photo of Mr William Hall Mr William Hall , Colne Valley

I think that that question should be more properly directed to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Education, who I am quite sure, will take note of the point which has just been made.