HC Deb 27 May 1968 vol 765 cc1215-6
30. Mr. Robert Howarth

asked the Minister of Technology what are the annual totals of financial support which he has given to civil aerospace projects from and including 1964 to that estimated for 1968.

The Minister of State, Ministry of Technology (Mr. John Stonehouse)

The figures for the four financial years from 1964–65 were £29 million, £34 million, £52 million and £67 million respectively. The estimate for 1968–69 is £85 million.

Mr. Howarth

I thank my hon. Friend for that most encouraging reply, which I think indicates the measure of support the industry is receiving from this Government. Can my hon. Friend say whether the figure for 1968 includes an amount for the European airbus?

Mr. Stonehouse

No, the figure for the European airbus is not in this particular amount.

Sir H. Legge-Bourke

Bearing in mind the recent decision over E.L.D.O., when the present programme comes to an end, is it proposed to ensure that the maximum value is obtained from the money already spent by carrying on a space programme for this country thereafter?

Mr. Stonehouse

Space is another subject and I must ask that a separate Question be put down on that.

31. Mr. Howarth

asked the Minister of Technology if he will state the totals of British aerospace exports since and including 1964 and his estimate of the likely level of exports in 1968.

Mr. Stonehouse

In the years from 1964 to 1967 the exports of the British aircraft industry were £104 million, £150 million, £229 million and £207 million respectively. Present indications are that exports in 1968 may exceed £250 million.

Mr. Howarth

Will my hon. Friend continue with the outstanding efforts he has made in supporting the industry and also, I trust, point out to those who were critical of the earlier efforts of the Government that the Government's policy is now paying very handsome dividends for the nation?

Mr. Stonehouse

I thank my hon. Friend for that supplementary question. It is absolutely true that during the last four years we have been able to reduce the emphasis on defence building and put the emphasis on building for export. This is shown up in the figures I have given this afternoon.

Mr. Corfield

But is it not abundantly clear that a great deal of this is attributable to the initiative of the companies themselves and that most of these export figures arise from matters long before 1964?

Mr. Stonehouse

If the hon. Gentleman would consult his friends in industry, I am sure he will have ample information from them that they give great credit to the partnership with the Government in the last four years. Many of the exports would not have been achieved unless this partnership had been established.

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