HC Deb 04 March 1964 vol 690 cc1303-4
37. Mr. Lubbock

asked the Minister of Aviation if he accepts the Estimates Committee's recommendation in its second Report for this Session that the Air Corporations should not have to bear the whole cost of introducing new British aircraft into service.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Aviation (Mr. Neil Marten)

All the Select Committee's recommendations are being carefully considered and replies will be given as soon as possible.

Mr. Lubbock

Is the hon. Member aware that this matter has been raised on several previous occasions by the chairmen of both Corporations and that while the Ministry has made encouraging noises, no hard cash has ever resulted? Does he appreciate that it is important that a decision be made as soon as possible on the very heavy costs which will fall on B.O.A.C. with the forthcoming introduction of the VC10? Are the Government prepared to help them with a share of the £5 million which this is estimated to cost?

Mr. Marten

This is the sort of thing which is being considered. It is not true to say that there has been no assistance at all, because some assistance towards the cost of introducing new types of British aircraft into airline service was within the framework of the policy announced by my right hon. Friend on 15th February, 1960. The Hermes and the Herald, for example, have been receiving assistance of this kind.