HC Deb 28 February 1955 vol 537 c1696
11. Mr. Edelman

asked the Minister of Supply the total sums paid through his Department to aircraft companies for the last three years for which figures are available, in the form of payments against development and production contracts, respectively.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

The expenditure on the production of airframes and aeroengines and spares therefor, in the three years from April, 1951, to March, 1954, was£84 million,£1295 million and£161 million, respectively. It is not the practice to give details of expenditure on research and development.

Mr. Edelman

Is it not the case that there are vast subsidies of public money concealed in these figures? Is it not time there was a public inquiry into this enormous expenditure for so little return?

Mr. Lloyd

I do not believe the hon. Member is right in the last part of his supplementary question. As to concealed subsidies, the answer I have given deals with the Question which was asked.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Does it include the cost of bombers at£400,000 each which are now obsolete?

Mr. Lloyd

It includes the cost of all aero-engines, airframes and spares in the relevant years.

Mr. Beswick

Does the figure include the cost of aero-engines, airframes and spares which have been delivered?

Mr. Lloyd

Yes, Sir, the production.

Mr. Beswick

The actually delivered article?

Mr. Lloyd

No, Sir, there are certain sums paid on account, but I should like to see the figures to see whether there is any difference between them.

Mr. Callaghan

No rifles and no aircraft.