HC Deb 12 February 1953 vol 511 cc581-2
24. Air Commodore Harvey

asked the President of the Board of Trade the value of aircraft spares and aviation materials imported during 1952; and how this figure was made up in detail.

Mr. P. Thorneycroft

Imports of aircraft parts during 1952, excluding those imported under the Mutual Defence Assistance agreement with the United States, were valued at £10,932,000. The trade statistics do not record these parts in detail. I regret that no information is available about imports of aviation materials as such.

Air Commodore Harvey

Can my right hon. Friend say how much of that £10 million-odd was spent in dollars, and can he also give the relevant figure for exports of British equipment to the United States? Will he bear in mind that the bulk of the £10 million was used by B.O.A.C., and does not he think it an extraordinary thing that one industry should consume that amount of dollars? Will he do everything possible to see that these figures are reduced at the earliest possible moment?

Mr. Thorneycroft

I cannot give the break-down between dollar and other imports without notice. Regarding the second part of my hon. and gallant Friend's question, my information is that a large part of the total imports of aircraft parts was imported by foreign airlines, which was not a charge on us, and that much of the rest was for specialised parts not available in this country for use in the manufacture of aircraft for export. If my hon. and gallant Friend has any other information. perhaps he will see me on it.

Air Commodore Harvey

Yes, I will.