HC Deb 24 June 1968 vol 767 c11
17. Mr. Robert Howarth

asked the Minister of Technology what is the latest estimate of the cost to public funds of building the Trident 3B for British European Airways; and what is the current estimated in-service date.

Mr. Stonehouse

About £15 million for launching costs; the aircraft could be in service in 1971.

Mr. Howarth

Is my hon. Friend aware that many of my constituents—and, I presume, those of other hon. Members who have large Hawker Siddeley factories in their constituencies—are concerned at the delay in concluding the negotiations for the purchase of the Trident 3B? Will he use his influence to expedite matters?

Mr. Stonehouse

I understand that negotiations are going on between B.E.A. and the firm for the placing of an order for the Trident 3B, and I hope that they will be concluded soon. I do not propose to interfere in those negotiations.

Mr. Corfield

Can the hon. Gentleman say what progress is being made in the negotiations with B.E.A. about the compensation agreement, as this is plainly having a deleterious effect on our prospect of selling the aircraft abroad?

Mr. Stonehouse

This is a matter for my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade, and I ask the hon. Gentleman to address his question to him.