HC Deb 24 July 1963 vol 681 cc1432-3
4. Mr. Mason

asked the Secretary of State for Air if he will now make a statement on the development of the TSR2 and the technique to be used to discharge its nuclear weapon.

Mr. H. Fraser

Apart from the fact that I am satisfied with progress, no, Sir.

Mr. Mason

Can the right hon. Gentleman give the House some indication of when he expects the Royal Air Force to receive its first operational aircraft? Does he stand by his original statement that the TSR2 will fly before March, 1964? Why is there all this mystery about the new weapons system? What is this wonder bomber? Has not the House a right to know about it?

Mr. Fraser

We have been into this matter many times before. I hope that the hon. Member will take the opportunity, by arrangement, to go to Weybridge to see the TSR2.

Mr. P. Williams

Is it not important that this weapons system should not only be capable of carrying nuclear weapons but should be able to operate in a tactical and strike rôle with traditional weapons?

Mr. Lee

Will the right hon. Gentleman at any rate make it clear that some of the rumours that have been floating around about failures in the development of this aircraft are quite wrong, and that the thing is going ahead as expeditiously as we would wish?

Mr. Fraser

I thought that I had made that clear in the first part of my statement, when I said that I was satisfied.