Oral Answers to Questions — Space Industry (Ministerial Co-Ordination)

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th June 1965.

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Photo of Mr Neil Marten Mr Neil Marten , Banbury 12:00 am, 29th June 1965

asked the Prime Minister, if he will introduce legislation to improve Ministerial co-ordination for the space industry.

Photo of Mr Neil Marten Mr Neil Marten , Banbury

Is the Prime Minister aware that there are about five Ministers dealing with the question of space and if one puts down a Question about space and wants a coherent answer on a broad field one simply cannot get it from one Minister? Would he consider giving the Minister of Aviation, for example, overall responsibility for it; and, secondly, could he indicate whether the Government have a space policy?

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

Space itself is a very broad field. Indeed, I understand there are those who consider it to be limitless. If it is true there are five Ministers who, at some point or another, are responsible for this field, I think this has always been the case. If the hon. Gentleman thinks in terms of the engineering responsibility, the production responsibilities, foreign affairs and so on, he will find this is so. It depends how he frames his Question. I can certainly tell him, because I have been into this very much myself in the past few months, that the arrangements for inter-departmental co-ordination are very satisfactory on this subject and that certainly we do have a space policy.

Photo of Mr Julian Ridsdale Mr Julian Ridsdale , Harwich

Can we have more information about space? Is the Prime Minister going to make public the findings of the Bondi Committee or is he going to put the Minister of Technology into space?

Photo of Mr Harold Wilson Mr Harold Wilson , Huyton

I am sure the hon. Gentleman wants more information on this very wide subject, and he will get it if he puts Questions down to the proper Minister. I should like notice of the question about the publication of the Bondi Report.

Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire

Will the Prime Minister keep in mind that the people of this country are more interested in living space than in outer space?