HC Deb 21 May 1958 vol 588 cc1284-5
26. Mrs. McLaughlin

asked the Secretary of State for Air if he has yet decided on a successor to the Beverley aeroplane.

Mr. C. I. Orr-Ewing

Our examination of the operational requirement is not yet complete.

Mrs. McLaughlin

Is my hon. Friend aware that many people in the aircraft industry today are anxiously awaiting the result of these deliberations? Will he do all he can to expedite them so that firms which are endeavouring to get contracts in order to maintain employment may do so as soon as possible?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

I am aware of that. We are working towards a final solution as fast as we can.

Mr. de Freitas

Surely, this is not fast enough? Is not the hon. Gentleman aware that this is now becoming a public scandal in the aircraft industry with all this continuing delay and the battle between the Government and the Air Council? Surely, if the importance of the mobility of our defence forces is recognised, a decision must be taken very soon?

Mr. Orr-Ewing

No one is more anxious than my right hon. Friend to reach an early conclusion, but we must make certain that that conclusion meets the main operational requirements of the War Office. It would obviously be folly to order aircraft which are not going to meet the needs of the Services when they come into operational use.

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