HC Deb 14 October 1968 vol 770 c16
24. Mr. McMaster

asked the Minister of Technology how much he estimates will be spent during the current financial year on research into the development of an advanced British aircraft capable of vertical or very short take-off and landing.

Mr. J. P. W. Mallalieu

The Department is supporting a number of lift engine and flight research programmes, and, in consultation with other interested bodies, is carrying out exploratory studies and research into problems of inter-city V.T.O.L. aircraft. Expenditure in the current year will be about £2 million. We are also financing the development of the Harrier for the R.A.F.

Mr. McMaster

Will the hon. Gentleman make sure that there is no shortage of funds for this exciting and promising field where the future affords more British expertise, particularly in vertical take-off, than perhaps any other field of aviation?

Mr. Mallalieu

I shall do my best, but we have expenditure on hovercraft research and expenditure in general to think of. We cannot do all we might want to do in all fields.

Mr. Onslow

How soon does the Minister expect to be able to notify firms developing aircraft of this kind of the noise limits that will be tolerable?

Mr. Mallalieu

That is a different question. I cannot give an answer straight away. It should be referred to my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade.