HC Deb 30 May 1960 vol 624 c996
43. Mr. de Freitas

asked the Minister of Aviation what military use is planned for Black Knight now being tested in Australia.

50. Mr. Chetwynd

asked the Minister of Aviation whether he will make a further statement about the future use of Black Knight and Blue Streak in relation to a non-military space programme.

Mr. Sandys

Black Knight is not designed to be a weapon. It is a test vehicle for high altitude research and for studying the problem of re-entry. If it is decided to use Blue Streak for launching satellites, Black Knight would provide the basis for a suitable second stage boost.

Mr. de Freitas

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that those who welcome the use of this device for civil purposes would like to be assured that it is not being paid for out of the military budget? Can he assure us that no part of the defence budget is being used to meet the expense of this development?

Mr. Sandys

The hon. Gentleman, I take it, is referring to Black Knight. One of the problems which we are studying and which has both civil and military application, is the problem of re-entry. I could not answer off the cuff the question relating to the distribution of funds as between one Department and another, but I can assure the hon. Gentleman that the Defence Departments will look after themselves pretty well.

Mr. Chetwynd

When does the right hon. Gentleman think he will be able to make this statement on the further use of Blue Streak?

Mr. Sandys

I have advised the House not to expect a statement before Whitsun.