To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) which outside bodies will be consulted during the review of research and development in his Department; and if he will make a statement;(2) when the review of research and development in his Ministry will be completed; and if he will make the findings of the review public;(3) whether there will be public consultation about the findings of the review of research and development in his Ministry; and if he will make a statement.
The examination of the balance of our research and development programmes which we are conducting, in addition to the normal review procedures outlined in my reply to the hon. Member for Fife, Central (Mr. McLeish) on 19 November at column 656, is part of the general process of policy formation. It will not involve any formal consultation outside agricultural departments, though we may be seeking views on an informal basis. This is a study being undertaken within Government which it would not be appropriate to publish. I shall consider at a later stage what subsequent consultations may be necessary.