HC Deb 14 November 1960 vol 630 cc26-7
40. Sir A. V. Harvey

asked the Minister of Aviation what steps he is taking to bring about production of an executive type of aircraft.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Aviation (Mr. Geoffrey Rippon)

I am confident that Britain can and should share in the market for these aircraft, and we are considering various proposals which have been put forward. In the meantime, my hon. Friend will be aware that some of the firms concerned are pooling their resources in a new company, Beagle, which is to specialise in this field.

Sir A. V. Harvey

Would my hon. Friend bear in mind that a good market for this type of aircraft exists both in this country and overseas? Will he give an assurance that when the designs and specifications are completed, his right hon. Friend will place development orders at an early date in order to get on with it?

Mr. Rippon

I cannot give any assurance about orders, but I think we are all agreed about the importance of this project and the market that is available.

Mr. Snow

Can the Parliamentary Secretary explain why the Government should be asked to take part in this sort of production? Why cannot it be left to private enterprise to produce the article by themselves? Why cannot they meet their own development charges?

Mr. Rippon

It may well be that no direct financial assistance will be necessary from the Government for a project like this where expenses are relatively small. On the other hand, there is much technical assistance which we can give through the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough and by other means.