HC Deb 13 July 1959 vol 609 cc4-5
5. Mr. Beswick

asked the Minister of Supply when the P.1 fighter aircraft prototype order was first placed; and when it is expected that these aircraft will be ready for squadron service.

Mr. Aubrey Jones

The order for the development of representative prototypes of the P.1 was placed in June, 1952. The aircraft is planned to be in service next year.

Mr. Beswick

I wonder whether the Minister remembers that his predecessor boasted to the House that the Conservative Party was going to arrange things much better, and that instead of having a development order of two or three it was going to order 20 additional aircraft for development purposes? Is he satisfied that this new way of going about things has had the effect of bringing forward the aircraft quicker than was previously the case?

Mr. Jones

Again, I freely confess that there was a delay with these aircraft, but I do not think an undue delay, by and large. The arrangement by which the aircraft are ordered for development in a batch has fully justified itself.