HC Deb 28 February 1945 vol 408 cc1365-6
35. Sir Richard Wells

asked the Minister of Aircraft Production whether he has any statement to make on the creation of an aeronautical research establishment.

Sir S. Cripps

Yes, Sir, In view of the imperative necessity to provide adequate resources in research and development for our future civil and military aircraft construction, and of the many new problems that now have to be faced with the approaching achievement of supersonic speeds, the Government has decided that it is necessary to embark upon the construction of a new research and development centre in this country in which all the latest and best wind tunnels and other apparatus can be installed. After a very complete survey of the country, it has been decided to place the new research establishment in the vicinity of Bedford. It is expected that its complete construction will take many years, though it is intended to make a beginning as soon as possible. The rate of progress will naturally depend on the financial resources which can be devoted to the project having regard to other necessary demands. In the meanwhile the work will be earned on in the Royal Aircraft Establishment, where such excellent work has been done in the past.

Sir R. Wells

May I ask the Minister to give some idea of the cost of these new works?

Sir S. Cripps

I am afraid I cannot give any idea of the cost. It will be a large cost; they are very extensive works.

Sir O. Simmonds

May I ask whether the Royal aircraft establishments will remain as a unit, and come under this new research establishment?

Sir S. Cripps

It is anticipated that the Royal aircraft establishments will be used for a number of ancillary research and development projects, such as armament and instruments.