HC Deb 05 July 1948 vol 453 cc21-2
41. Mr. Ward

asked the Minister of Supply whether he will publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT comparative performance figures for the Canadair and Constellation aircraft.

Mr. G. R. Strauss

As my Department has no responsibility for the development, production or testing of these two aircraft, it would be inappropriate for me to comment on any claims made by the manufacturers.

Mr. Ward

Does that answer mean that the Government have, as reported in the Press, ordered 20 Canadair aircraft without knowing what the comparative figures are between these two types of aircraft?

Mr. Strauss

I can only repeat that my Department has no authority to test these planes and has not tested these foreign planes.

Mr. Edgar Granville

Can the Minister say on what evidence he bases any advice which he gives to His Majesty's Government for the purchase of these Canadian or American aircraft as against British aircraft?

Mr. Strauss

That is another question altogether. I was asked to give authoritative information about the various qualities of these American aircraft. The only information I have in my possession is the claims of the manufacturers, and it would be wholly inappropriate for me to give that information to the House.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd

Is there any way in which the shareholders, who are the taxpayers, whose representatives we are, can discover the basis on which these decisions are now being made?

Mr. Strauss

When any decisions of this sort are made, they will be disclosed fully to the House.