HC Deb 21 June 1939 vol 348 cc2216-7
31. Mr. Perkins

asked the Secretary of State for Air the approximate cost of the American engines for the 14 Ensign air-liners; and whether any part of this sum will fall directly or indirectly on the taxpayer?

The Under-Secretary of State for Air (Captain Harold Balfour)

The approximate cost of the American engines, mountings, airscrews and ancillary equipment, together with the necessary spares now being ordered in respect of eight Ensign aircraft, will be £200,000. Pending a final settlement of contract matters as between Imperial Airways, Limited, and the makers of the aircraft, and knowledge of the amount which will be realised from disposal of the original engines and equipment, it is not possible to state the financial effect of the change-over. Negotiations in this matter are proceeding, and if my hon. Friend would care to put down this question again at a later date I should be glad to supply any further information that may then be available.

Mr. Perkins

Can my hon. and gallant Friend give the assurance for which I ask, namely, that no part of this money will fall upon the taxpayer?

Captain Balfour

The eventual financial effect must depend upon the result of the negotiations which are now being carried on between the company and the makers of aircraft, and until the outcome of these negotiations is known, I cannot give any further information.