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Scientific And Research Stations (Aberdeen)

Volume 654: debated on Tuesday 27 February 1962

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asked the Parliamentary Secretary for Science if he will make a detailed statement of the changes in the administration and work of the scientific and research stations in Aberdeen under his authority during the last twelve months, and of the further changes which he has in view; and, having regard to the success which has attended those stations until now, why he proposes to make these changes.

The only research station in Aberdeen directly financed by any of the Research Councils, for which my noble Friend is responsible, is the Torry Research Station of the D.S.I.R. In addition, the Medical Research Council supports an Obstetric Medicine Research Unit at the University of Aberdeen Medical School. In the case of the Rowett Research Institute and the Macaulay Institute of Soil Research, the Agricultural Research Council advises on the research programmes and on scientific staffs and facilities, though the finance is provided by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland. I am not aware of any changes in the last twelve months, nor of any specific changes in view, in the administration and work of these establishments, other than those which occur with the normal development of their scientific programmes.

Has not the hon. Gentleman's Department within the last two years taken steps to diminish and divert some of the very useful work which has been undertaken by the Torry Research Station? Is not that a step in the wrong direction? Will he reverse it and assist the research stations to increase their usefulness, their constructive work, and their staff?

The work of nearly all the stations of D.S.I.R. is increasing annually. I am not aware of any diminution in the effort of the Torry Research Station, although from time to time it may be necessary to alter the volume of work between one station and another, for example, between Torry and the subsidiary fish laboratory at Hull.