HC Deb 30 April 1958 vol 587 c372
40. Mr. de Freitas

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether, in consultation with the Secretary of State for War, he has now worked out and forwarded to the Minister of Supply a firm operational requirement for a successor to the Beverley aircraft.

41. Mr. Strachey

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he has yet stated an operational requirement for a successor to the Beverley aircraft.

Mr. C. I. Orr-Ewing

I cannot, at present, add to the answer which my right hon. Friend gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Haltemprice (Mr. Wall) on 19th March.

Mr. de Freitas

Since so much of our whole defence strategy depends upon air mobility, will not the Minister give an undertaking to speed up the statement of requirements? Surely, it cannot be in transport—it would be most alarming if it were—that the Minister of Defence is determined to substitute missiles for manned aircraft?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

My right hon. Friend dealt with this matter on 19th March and he pointed out that the Beverley would continue to give very useful service into the mid-1960s. Although I realise that there is a need to hasten the result of our consultations with the War Office, I do not think that one should over-emphasise the need for speed.

Mr. de Freitas

But is the Under-Secretary not aware that these requirements have to be stated many years ahead and that time lost now will be very hard to catch up in future?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

I will bear in mind what the hon. Gentleman says.

Mr. P. Williams

Will not my hon. Friend agree that there is great need for co-ordination between the military application of the follow-on aircraft and the civil application, and that it is very important that the two things should be brought together?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

That point has to be borne in mind, and, of course, the closest consultations with the War Office are necessary also before we can come to an agreed conclusion.