George James McIlraith (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Trade and Commerce)
Mr. G. J. Mcllraiih (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Trade and Commerce):
Mr. Speaker, the legislation of which this resolution forms the basis is not extensive in scope. Hon. members will recall that the Research Council Act was passed in 1924 and amended in 1946. By the 1946 amendment provision was made for the appointment of two vicepresidents, one vice-president, scientific, and one vice-president, administration. In 1947 when the operation of the atomic energy project at Chalk River was placed under the jurisdiction of the research council the man in charge of that project was given the position of vice-president, scientific.
The result is that as far as the research council itself is concerned the one position of vice-president, administration, is filled but there is no position to which a person could be appointed to have similar jurisdiction over
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Research Council Act
the scientific end of the operation. It is desired that there should be a vice-president having charge of the scientific work of the research council other than that of the atomic energy project, and the legislation proposes to create this additional position of vicepresident, scientific.
The second part of the resolution simply deals with the definition of the term "invention." It will be recalled that the Research Council Act was enacted in 1924, whereas our patent legislation is more recent. The definition of "invention" in the Patent Act is wider and gives more complete protection than the definition in the Research Council Act. It is proposed by this legislation to bring the two definitions into line so that the research council definition will follow that of the Patent Act.
This is particularly important when one remembers that under the legislation patents of invention by technical officials of the research council vest in the council. With the current developments in chemistry and atomic energy it is particularly important that the definition be wide enough to include compositions of matter as well as apparatus and other mechanical inventions. The present definition is somewhat weak in this respect.
There is one other slight change being made by the proposed legislation which has to do with the term "national research council." The present legislation does not provide for the use of that term although it has been in general use since 1925 when it was authorized by an order in council. It is proposed to give its use legislative authority. I do not think there is any more I can usefully say on the resolution stage.
Subtopic: RESEARCH COUNCIL ACT