HC Deb 17 March 1965 vol 708 cc1278-9
45. Mr. David Price

asked the Minister of Aviation if he will give details of the joint British-United States programme to develop vertical take-off and landing aircraft.

Mr. Roy Jenkins

The only joint V.T.O.L. aircraft programme we have at present is the P1127 Tripartite Evaluation Programme which we are undertaking with the United States and Federal German Governments. The evaluation phase of this programme is due to start next month at West Raynham.

Mr. Price

Will the right hon. Gentleman assure the House that we shall not give to the Americans information of a field of aviation in which it is a common view that we are ahead of them, when in other fields the Americans expect us to buy from them and do not give any reciprocal orders in return? This subject has gone the whole way through Questions today. We are very worried about it.

Mr. Jenkins

We shall certainly not act in such a way as to give the Americans information which we do not regard it as in the interests of this country to give. But we have suffered very much, in my view, from the inability of the previous Government to make up their mind between the P1127 and the P1154.

Mr. A. Royle

As the Secretary of State for Defence announced to the House that his Administration intended to give a firm order for 100 P1127s to Hawker Siddeley, may I ask when this firm order will be placed, particularly as earlier this afternoon the right hon. Gentleman denied that they intended to do it?

Mr. Jenkins

Whatever else that has to do with, it has nothing to do with British-United States programmes.

Mr. Rankin

On a point of order. Is it in order for me to point out that Aviation has done 45 Questions? Should not that earn us another day in the week?

Mr. Speaker

I do not think it is in order, but let us share the good things of life.

Mr. A. Royle

On a point of order. In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I beg to give notice that I shall raise the matter on the Adjournment at the earliest possible moment.