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Research Institutions (Rate Relief)

Volume 893: debated on Friday 13 June 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether the instructions from the Agricultural Research Council to the Animal Virus Research Institute at Pirbright to apply for rate relief under Section 40 of the General Rate Act 1967 were issued with the prior approval of his Department; and what other organisations funded by the Agricultural Research Council have made similar applications for rate relief.

Responsibility for the general oversight of the Agricultural and other Research Councils rests with me, but matters such as applications for rate relief are primarily for the day-to-day management of the research council concerned. The Agricultural Research Council was advised last year by my Department that a rate relief application by an independent institute grant aided by the council was a matter for the institute itself to pursue if it so wished. The prior approval of my Department was, therefore, not required in the case of the Animal Virus Research Institute.I understand from the Agricultural Research Council that to date eight other research institutes grant aided by the council have made applications for rate relief.