HC Deb 08 July 1964 vol 698 cc385-6
7. Mr. A. Lewis

asked the Minister of Aviation when he now expects to receive the Lang Committee Report on the Ferranti contract; and whether he will ask for an interim report to be made available to enable a debate to take place, as the full report is not likely to be available before the summer recess.

Mr. Amery

As I told the House on 3rd June, Sir John Lang is producing an interim report. Our object in asking Sir John Lang to split the report in this way was to allow time for the House to discuss it.

Mr. Lewis

Yes, but can we be given an assurance by the Minister, in view of the scandal which has now been announced about the withdrawal of the Bloodhound, that ample opportunity will be given for a debate on this interim report before the House goes up for this Summer Recess and that there will not be, as on past occasions when there have been such Government scandals, an announcement made after the House has got up?

Mr. Amery

I really do not understand the hon. Member's reference to a scandal about the withdrawal of the Bloodhound. Bloodhound I has given good service for a number of years. Bloodhound II is the most successful missile of its kind produced in this or indeed any other country, and it has been bought by two of the most objective customers, Sweden and Switzerland, who are under no pressure to buy British, American or anything else.

Mr. Lee

Can the right hon. Gentleman give a guarantee that the interim report will be presented to this Parliament?

Mr. Amery

I cannot guarantee, because I am not writing the report, but this was the object of calling for an interim report.

Mr. Wigg

Would the Minister give the House an assurance that at least the House will have an opportunity to see the Report before it is leaked to Mr. Chapman Pincher?