My hon. Friend's constituency of South Dorset has a wide range of important Government-funded research facilities. They are as follows: the Defence Research Agency at Southwell, Portland and Holton Heath; AEA Technology at Winfrith; MAFF Fish Diseases Laboratory at Weymouth; the NERC Institute of Freshwater Ecology at Wareham; and the NERC Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, also at Wareham.
I thank my right hon. Friend for that excellent list and for the research that he has done. Will he reflect that although we have an immediate problem with the reduction of military research and the research at AEA Technology, Winfrith, we have a long-term opportunity for both Government and private industry to come down and use this excellent centre of research in my constituency?
As the Government have decided today to abandon one source of energy research—fast breeder programme—what money is being given and will be given to examining the potential for energy from bio-fuels? Can the Minister give us some idea of the key areas in that field which his new Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology will be targeting?
The ending of the long research programme on fast breeders has been judged broadly as being the right decision, sad though it is. I note the comments of Lord Marshall of Goring on that in the newspapers today. There is other work going on, and on the very matter that the hon. Gentleman mentioned—bio-mass—early work is being done and more will no doubt be done in the future.