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Research Councils

Volume 972: debated on Tuesday 30 October 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what proposals he has for the amalgamation of the functions of the five research councils to which he appoints members to reduce the cost of administration and to eliminate the need for the advisory board for research councils, three inter-council committees with specialist subcommittees, and the multiplicity of joint council committees and liaison units currently required to avoid project duplication.

We have no proposals to amalgamate the research councils because the functions of each council differ. A single amalgamated research council could be so unwieldy that the resultant extra administrative cost would offset any administrative savings arising immediately from the amalgamation. I doubt whether a single council would be a more effective instrument than the five separate councils for meeting the purposes for which my Department funds them.