The science budget for which my right hon. Friend is responsible is projected to rise from £1,050 million in 1992–93 to £1,181 million in 1993–94 and £1,270 million in 1994–95. If the sums transferred from universities to research councils are deducted, the year-on-year increases will be £54 million and £60 million.
Does the Minister not consider that an appropriate use for the science budget would be investment in the successes of this country's science industry? Is it not a tragedy that Britain's last semiconductor manufacturer, INMOS, is about to move its manufacturing base to France and Italy, because the French and Italians believe in investing in British successes but the British Government do not?
It is important to ensure good links between our academic science base and industry, of the kind that my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy said exists in the pharmaceutical sector. It is necessary for the private sector, which is in the lead in all those areas, to get involved and to be committed. We must keep open the science base, but it is not the Government's role to invest in near-market research and development of a kind that we can expect industry to undertake.
Will my hon. Friend confirm that there has been a net inflow of academic staff specialising in this subject over recent years and that that development shows that there is a sound underlying base of research and development in the United Kingdom?
Yes. University statistical records show that there have been net inflows of academic staff from abroad over the past seven years, that the proportion of staff who leave for employment abroad is lower in the highest grades and that, since 1983, the professorial staff who leave have been outnumbered by those who have come here from abroad.