HC Deb 28 November 1955 vol 546 cc1928-9
40. Viscount Hinchingbrooke

asked the Minister of Supply what principles he applies in determining whether new aeronautical research projected shall be financed wholly or partly by his Department.

Mr. Maudling

Where aeronautical research and development projects are of a purely military nature and are promoted by my Department or result from Service requirements, it is normal for the cost to be borne by my Department. Where, however, such projects have obvious commercial possibilities, the extent of the contribution from public funds is a matter for negotiation in each case in the light of the circumstances.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

Is my right hon. Friend aware that a very large body of hard-pressed taxpayers will warmly welcome any decision by the Ministry of Supply to economise, provided that the defence of the country is secured, and that any expenditure put into civil aeronautical research should be applied, as he has indicated in reply to recent questions, to projects which can secure a more or less immediate economic return?