Research Establishment, Aldermaston (Scientists)

Oral Answers to Questions — Science – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 21st May 1963.

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Photo of Mr Anthony Hurd Mr Anthony Hurd , Newbury 12:00 am, 21st May 1963

asked the Parliamentary Secretary for Science how many of the scientists now working at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Aldermaston are likely to have to transfer to other work; and what steps he is taking to ensure that they and the engineers and surveyors who move to other Government service do not lose seniority in pay and pension rights.

Photo of Mr Denzil Freeth Mr Denzil Freeth , Basingstoke

As regards the first part of the Question, I have nothing to add to my statement on 19th March. The matters referred to in the last part of the Question are at present under consideration.

Photo of Mr Anthony Hurd Mr Anthony Hurd , Newbury

May we take it that most of the scientists are being retained at Aldermaston and that there should not be any great problem of redundancy, or has the position changed? As regards the engineers and surveyors, has progress been made in attracting to Aldermaston work from other Government Departments to keep them together as a team, and a very valuable team?

Photo of Mr Denzil Freeth Mr Denzil Freeth , Basingstoke

In answer to the first part of that question, not only is there at present not a surplus of scientists at Aldermaston, but there is none of any consequence in the rest of the Authority. Wastage rates of scientists are high, but there would have to be a substantial run-down at Aldermaston before any serious problem was likely to arise on that front. In regard to the engineering group, the major part is at Risley. It is only a subsidiary part which is stationed near Aldermaston, and I am afraid that I cannot make any statement on that today.