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Mineral Resources

Volume 640: debated on Tuesday 16 May 1961

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary for Science what research is being conducted into the better use of United Kingdom's mineral resources.

The Geological Survey and Museum of the D.S.I.R. produces maps and memoirs which give basic information on the United Kingdom's mineral resources. The Warren Spring Laboratory and the National Chemical Laboratory undertake research on processing ores and extracting metals from them. Research into the better use of minerals is also undertaken by various grant-aided Research Associations, industrial firms and universities.

In the latter part of his Answer the Minister spoke of research into the better use of minerals. As many other countries, especially small countries, have a limited supply of rare and non-ferrous minerals and metals, are the Government and the hon. Member's Department encouraging the use of other materials instead of using some of our rare and scarce mineral resources for the production of ornaments and other utility articles in the homes?

If the hon. Member means plastics, there is a Plastics Research Association. The British Ceramics Research Association does a great deal of investigation into various types of raw material suitable for the production of pottery, for example. If the hon. Member wishes to ask any question in particular about plastics and other substitutes for minerals, perhaps he will put it down.