HC Deb 01 February 1967 vol 740 cc483-4
10. Mr. R. Carr

asked the Minister of Aviation when he expects to complete his negotiations with the British Aircraft Corporation and the Hawker Siddeley Group for the merger of their airframe interests.

Mr. Stonehouse

Negotiations with the companies are in progress and these will take some time to complete. We are pressing on as fast as we can, but as there are several parties to this negotiation I cannot give any assurance as to when they will be completed.

Mr. Carr

Does the Minister realise that it is now 15 months or thereabouts since the Plowden Committee raised this issue and that the uncertainty in the industry must make both the raising of capital for new projects and future management planning extremely difficult? Will he not agree that this uncertainty must be brought to an end?

Mr. Stonehouse

All the fault is not on our side. The negotiations are very complex and include a valuation of very complex firms. I hope that we can make quick progress, but we are dealing with a large number of firms here. I hope that we shall get co-operation from their side. We are prepared to co-operate in order to bring this to a conclusion soon.