HC Deb 10 November 1969 vol 791 c7
8. Mr. Fortescue

asked the Minister of Technology when he expects to be able to make a statement about the vertical/ short take-off and landing aircraft projects submitted to him by manufacturers.

Mr. Carmichael

I have nothing to add to my Written Answer of 3rd November, 1969.—[Vol. 790, c. 20.]

Mr. Fortescue

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that within the last few days two German companies have announced their plans to go ahead with the construction of a vertical take-off airliner which can operate between cities? Will he assure us that our lead in this matter, which is vital and has been very significant, will not be frittered away by delays in his Department?

Mr. Carmichael

The hon. Gentleman has always taken an interest in this matter and he knows that a large number of studies are going ahead in this country and abroad. Collaboration with other countries in Europe on this type of travel would be vital for the success of any scheme. Proposals for industrial collaboration would be a matter for the firms concerned. I believe that we are undertaking the studies required and are pushing ahead as well as science and all the other factors will allow.

Mr. Dalyell

What design studies are in progress?

Mr. Carmichael

The next stage is to decide whether there are prima facie grounds for inviting design studies and preliminary general planning after evaluation of the existing evidence.