HC Deb 30 November 1966 vol 737 cc439-40
23. Mr. Goodhew

asked the Minister of Aviation whether he has accepted the recommendation of the Plowden Committee that Her Majesty's Government should be willing to consider proposals for Government assistance towards projects with promising export prospects even if no requirement for them by the British services has been established.

Mr. Snow

This recommendation to consider proposals from industry is accepted in principle, but cases will be considered on their merits as they arise. I would expect, however, that the instances where such assistance would be justified will be rare, since it is very difficult to get other countries to buy military equipment for which no requirement by our own Services has been established.

Mr. Goodhew

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that we have just had 30 minutes of waffle and evasive promises from him and his right hon. Friend? Is he further aware that the uncertainty in the aircraft industry which lasted while the Plowden Committee sat still continues, although it has reported? When are the Government going to do something about it?

Mr. Snow

The serious problems which we inherited necessitate very careful consideration. If I am to answer the Question on the Order Paper, I should say that it is a fact that we give help to firms who have such projects. One such case is already being considered.

Mr. Lubbock

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the Japanese are offering a ten-year credit for the purchase of the YS 11, whereas in the case of its British competitor, the Hawker-Siddeley HS 748, the Government are giving only 5 years' credit? Will he take steps to see that British manufacturers are able to offer credit terms which are at least as good as the Japanese or any other manufacturers with whom we are competing?

Mr. Snow

That is not the Question on the Order Paper, but Japan, like us, subscribes to the Berne Agreement. If the hon. Gentleman has any specific information in regard to the case that he has mentioned, I shall be glad to hear it.

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