HC Deb 20 February 1957 vol 565 c419
30. Mr. Beswick

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether he proposes to permit the decision with regard to the purchase of the new jet aircraft for British Overseas Airways Corporation, which the Corporation are now discussing with a number of British constructors, to be made by the Corporation alone on the basis of their own commercial judgment.

Mr. Watkinson

As in the past, a decision will be reached by consultation between the various interests involved, namely B.O.A.C., the manufacturer and the Government Departments concerned.

Mr. Beswick

Since the Minister has admitted that he made a mistake at the end of last year in trying to apply pressure upon the Corporation to buy a particular aircraft, will he now give a quite definite assurance that the purchase of these new jet aircraft both by B.O.A.C. and B.E.A. will be made on the merits of the design specifications and the proven record of the manufacturers concerned to deliver up to those specifications and not in accordance with any Ministry of Supply idea to feed orders to manufacturers who are short of work?

Mr. Watkinson

No, I am sure that the hon. Gentleman really knows that it was quite right to investigate the possibility of multi-purpose jet aircraft. It was quite right to do that before looking into the further possibilities of turboprop and jet aircraft, and that is what has been done.