‘For lack of funds and for lack of the necessary statutory power, vital work was in danger of coming to an end , including a major breakthrough with what might be the world’s finest fast computer,” said Mr Harold Wilson, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor.
So, over 50 years ago, starts a story in Electronics Weekly’s edition of April 26th 1961.
He was referring to the activities of the National Research Development |Corporation which, he claimed, had been more than anything else responsible for the development of Britain’s computer industry and the Hovercraft.
These developments, starved through lack of funds, and even more through lack of drive and concern, had vastly more bearing on our national survival than many of the pet projects wastefully financed by successive Defence Ministers, asserted Mr Wilson.
He urged the government to extend the NRDC’s powers so that in the case of important projects it could come along with firm orders – beginning with the computer – to maintain continuity of production and development.