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Research Councils

Volume 886: debated on Thursday 20 February 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what are his forecasts of expenditure at 1974 survey prices in the years 1974–75 to 1978–79 by the Agricultural Research Council, the Medical Research Council, the National Environment Research Council, the Science Research Council, the Social Science Research Council, the Natural History Museum and the Royal Society, respectively, out of the totals for Research Councils &c. given in Command Paper No. 5879.

Figures for 1974–75 were shown in the Public Expenditure White Paper. Comparable figures for 1975–76 at 1974 survey prices are as follows:

£m.
ARC10·6
MRC24·4
NERC15·5
SRC83·3
SSRC7·2
NHM*2·7
Royal Society1·5
145·2
* Excludes certain operating costs borne by the Department of the Environment.
For later years expenditure cannot be precisely forecast. On the advice of the Advisory Board for the Research Councils I have approved broad guidelines related to the growth indicated in the White Paper for the science budget as a whole, for use by each body as a basis for planning over the period up to 1979–80, subject to revision each year in the light of the Advisory Board's annual appraisal of that body's forward expenditure proposals. The guidelines are as folows:Science Research Council—0·7 per cent. per annum growth.ARC, MRC, NERC, SSRC—3·5 per cent. per annum growth.Royal Society, Natural History Museum—2·5 per cent. per annum growth.I am sending further details to the hon. Member.