§ 28. Mr. Marten
asked the Minister of Technology if he will make a statement on the proposal for a BAC 3–11 aircraft.
§ Mr. Marten
Can the right hon. Gentleman say how much launching aid is likely if the development of this aeroplane should go ahead, and what is the estimated in-service date if a decision is taken within, say, the next few months?
§ Mr. Benn
It would be wrong for me to anticipate the proposal to be brought forward by B.A.C., and I should have to consider whether this information was covered by commercial confidentiality. B.A.C. understands very well that it will have to produce its share of the cost and some assurance of a market. I am awaiting the full proposals from the Corporation with great eagerness.
§ Mr. Robert Howarth
Is my right hon. Friend aware of the impending decision by airlines such as B.E.A. and other European operators for an aircraft of this size? Does not this mean that it is urgent and that we must have a decision with regard to either this aircraft or the European airbus?