Engineering Industry (Finniston Report)

Oral Answers to Questions — Oral Answers to Questions – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th November 1979.

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Photo of Mr Dick Douglas Mr Dick Douglas , Dunfermline 12:00 am, 12th November 1979

asked the Secretary of State for Industry when he expects to receive the Finniston report on engineering manpower and when he expects to publish it.

Photo of Mr Dick Douglas Mr Dick Douglas , Dunfermline

Does the Secretary of State concede that the sooner that is done the better, because we are anxious to have this report on engineering manpower before the Government destroy our manufacturing engineering base?

Photo of Sir Keith Joseph Sir Keith Joseph , Leeds North East

Yes. The Government eagerly await the report. Under Sir Monty Finniston the committee must have worked extremely hard to be so near to publishing a report only two years after it was appointed.

Photo of Mr John Osborn Mr John Osborn , Sheffield, Hallam

Has my right hon. Friend received a copy of the report? Will he bear in mind that learned societies and industrial organisations are planning meetings with the intention of discussing this matter, and that without a more definite date than "soon" this is difficult to arrange?

Photo of Sir Keith Joseph Sir Keith Joseph , Leeds North East

Yes. I sympathise with their need, but I am sure that Sir Monty Finniston will do his best to tell them of the likely date. I have not had a copy of the final report.

Photo of Mr Tam Dalyell Mr Tam Dalyell , West Lothian

As a senior member of the Cabinet, is the Secretary of State concerned with the parlous situation in many engineering departments in universities, given the rise in overseas students' fees and the consequences that flow from that for the engineering departments?

Photo of Sir Keith Joseph Sir Keith Joseph , Leeds North East

No. I have formed a high impression of the vitality of those engineering departments in universities that I recently visited.