asked the Minister of Fuel and Power whether it is proposed to fill the vacancy to be caused by the resignation of the Chief Scientific Officer to his Department; and at what salary.
Yes, Sir £3,250 per annum.
In view of the scientific knowledge and equipment available to the Coal Board, is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that it is necessary to continue this office?
I think it is very important, because the scientific work of the Chief Scientist embraces matters far outside the field of the Coal Board itself. It relates, also, to the utilisation of coal.
Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that since this appointment was made in 1946 it has proved extremely valuable over the whole field of scientific research on matters relating to fuel and power? Would he repudiate the suggestion of the right hon. Gentleman that the work concerns only coal and indicate that it relates to coal gas, electricity, gas turbines and much other scientific equipment?
Does the Minister understand that when it comes to a question of gas I pay homage to the hon. Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Nabarro)?