HC Deb 21 May 1969 vol 784 cc418-9
14. Mr. Fortescue

asked the Minister of Technology whether he will make a statement on the progress made by the French and German Governments on the A300B airbus project and reported to him in accordance with the terms of the agreement.

Mr. Benn

There is nothing of substance to report. My Department has, of course, maintained contact with the French and German authorities.

Mr. Fortescue

Can the right hon. Gentleman confirm that Dutch and Italian interests now stand ready to participate in the A300B project? Can he tell the House the latest position about the possibility of a British designed and manufactured airbus?

Mr. Benn

I cannot answer authoritatively about Dutch and Italian interests because, not having participated following the conference in London, I am not privy to all the discussions going on between the French, and Germans and potential partners. As to the question of the possibilities of a British airbus—the BAC311—as in other projects, we are prepared to consider proposals by other aircraft manufacturers and we shall look at them very critically to be sure that if we were to go ahead with the support of such a project it would be commercially successful.