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This lecture was written before the Prime Minister, Mr. Heath, announced his proposals for the re-organization of central government (White Paper dated 15 October, 1970). These proposals have two main objectives: to group related functions in unified departments, and to improve the machinery of decision-faking at the centre. They include inter alia the creation of a single department to deal with trade and industry, and another to cover all the responsibilities of central government for the physical environment. They also include the enlargement of the Cabinet Ofice by the addition of a central policy review staff to advise Ministers collectively on policies and priorities from the point of view of the Government's overall strategy.
Baroness Sharp of Hornsey
The conditions for the 13th Biennial Competition for the Drury Medal, founded by the late Mr. F. E. Drury (Past President) are now available.
The pilot scheme of eight Special Study Groups is now in full operation. Each works under the direction of a Convener appointed by the Council, who is personally responsible for organizing the work of his Group, conducting correspondence, producing
and exchanging draft documents, etc. The general procedure for the working of a Study Group is set out on this page; some such simple rules are clearly necessary but it is the hope of the Council that the strength of a Study Group will lie in its informality and the opportunity it provides for members in all parts of the world to exchange ideas and experience. Members interested in contributing to one or other of the eight groups now working are invited to get in touch with the appropriate Convener at the address, given below. Full details of the purpose and work programme of each Study Group will be found in recent issues of The Structural Engineer under the references given.