HC Deb 05 May 1965 vol 711 c1331
4. Mr. Onslow

asked the Minister of Aviation whether he is satisfied that adequate and accurate information on the performance and potential of British-built aircraft is available to the British public; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Stonehouse

Yes, Sir. The supply of information about particular aircraft is a matter for the manufacturers, who command extensive publicity resources for this purpose. For civil aircraft the amount of detailed information made available is considerable, but in the case of military aircraft there must be regard to the security requirements.

Mr. Onslow

Would not the hon. Gentleman agree that recent programmes on television, in particular, have given an entirely disproportionate amount of time to allegedly independent commentators who are well known for their bias against British aircraft? Will he and his right hon. Friend undertake to support any representations which the industry may make to both the B.B.C. and I.T.A. to see that they get a fair hearing which has been denied them in the past six months and which they need in future?

Mr. Stonehouse

I should not like to comment on any particular television show, but I am satisfied that most British air correspondents are doing a very excellent job in promoting the undoubted qualities of the aircraft we produce in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Corfield

Does not the hon. Gentleman feel that the Americans are enormously helped in advertising their aircraft through their diplomatic missions? Is it not time that we did something of the same sort?

Mr. Stonehouse

We are using our representatives abroad to an increasing extent to promote aircraft produced here. My Department is at this moment considering ways in which this assistance can be increased. We have already had compliments from aircraft producers about the way in which we are assisting them in this respect.