HC Deb 06 July 1959 vol 608 cc884-5
44. Mr. de Freitas

asked the Minister of Supply what assistance he gives to the manufacturers in demonstrating to the armed forces of the United Kingdom's allies the quality and range of British aircraft and equipment.

Mr. Aubrey Jones

Official demonstrations are staged from time to time to present British aircraft and defence equipment to representatives of our Allies. In addition, Ministry of Supply aircraft, equipment and airfield facilities are made available to manufacturers for commercial displays and demonstrations, when this is desirable.

Mr. de Freitas

Is it not becoming increasingly apparent that the support our manufacturers are given in selling military equipment abroad is totally inadequate? Is it not time that the Government, and especially the Ministry of Supply, completely revised their policy in this matter and gave as much assistance in selling as the American Government do to their aircraft manufacturers?

Mr. Jones

No, it is not becoming so apparent. I think it is the duty of the Ministry of Supply to help any aircraft manufacturer to the utmost possible extent in his exports, but I think the right hon. Gentleman ought to realise that American equipment is making inroads into the Continent of Europe for reasons that have nothing to do with the volume of Government support.