HC Deb 17 November 1958 vol 595 cc829-30
40. Mr. Mason

asked the Minister of Supply, in view of the consultations with the United States of America now taking place on development of futuristic aircraft, what estimate he has made of the cost of the production of a supersonic variable geometry aircraft, such as the Swallow, the Bristol all-steel research aircraft, and the Hawker vertical takeoff jet fighter, by the United Kingdom alone.

Mr. Aubrey Jones

It is not customary to divulge details of contracts or estimated costs.

Mr. Mason

Would it not be a colossal sum for us if we tried to develop these futuristic aircraft on our own? They are of several types, and probably all are worthy of development. Would it not be to our advantage to cement this Anglo-American alliance with joint effort over this type of aircraft, because it would not be possible for us to do it alone?

Mr. Jones

The definition of "colossal" depends on one's standards in these things, but I agree that military aircraft these days are highly expensive, and for that reason American aid for any of these projects would be extremely welcome.