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Geological Survey

Volume 83: debated on Friday 19 July 1985

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asked the Prime Minister what response she has made to the letter to her dated 24 April from Sir Peter Kent, F.R.S., about the inclusion within the scope of the Natural Environment Research Council of the British geological survey.

My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education and Science replied to Sir Peter Kent's letter on my behalf. He said that there is general agreement about the need for geological surveying, both to underpin basic research in the earth sciences and because of its practical relevance. He referred to the recent reductions in the funds received by the Natural Environment Research Council for commissioned research. He explained that it was primarily this reduction, and future prospects on the level of support from Departments, that had led the Advisory Board for the Research Councils (ABRC) to conclude that a study of geological surveying should be carried out.I understand that the study will be jointly set up by the ABRC and the NERC and will look into the need for, the resources required to provide, and the appropriate responsibilities for paying for geological surveying in the United Kingdom. The group's report will be submitted to the chairmen of these bodies.