HC Deb 03 August 1966 vol 733 c442
9. Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

asked the Secretary of State for Defence for how many P1127 aircraft he has now placed a firm order.

Mr. Healey

My right hon. Friend the Minister of Aviation is at present negotiating a contract with the firm covering the development of and a substantial production order for this aircraft.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Can the Secretary of State give an assurance that, in accordance with the promise given prior to the cancellation of the TSR2, it is his intention to put this aircraft into substantial service with the R.A.F.?

Mr. Healey

Yes, Sir. We hope that it will be in service in 1969.

Mr. Hugh Fraser

Is not this a fantastic delay in making the order firm? Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that the R.A.F. must be extremely distressed by the delay and the total disregard he is showing?

Mr. Healey

The right hon. Gentleman is wrong. There has been no delay of any sort in the process of producing this aircraft. Long-lead items have been ordered and all necessary financial authorities are continuing. This is very important and I hope that hon. Members will agree that we should draw up the tightest possible contracts to meet the taxpayers' needs.

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