LONDON—Scientists working in this country's military sector may suffer a "considerable" reduction in funding within two or three years if the Conservatives are returned to power in next week's elections. On the other hand, those involved in civil R&D may benefit from money transferred out of defense work.

These intentions were outlined by Defense Secretary George Younger as he unveiled this year's Defense White Paper shortly before the June 11 election was announced. "We shall be taking a close looking at defense programs with a high R&D element, to ensure that government funding is really essential," Younger said. "At the same time, we hope to move finance into non-military research." Although the other two competitors in the election—the Labour Party and the Social Democratic/Liberal Alliance—have promised a substantial boost in money for civil science, neither party has advocated a specific reallocation from defense.

Younger's comments marked a significant policy shift...

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