HC Deb 25 February 1970 vol 796 cc1172-3
2. Mr. Onslow

asked the President of the Board of Trade what representations he has received from the Chairman of British European Airways regarding the need for an early decision on the BAC3–11 project; and what reply he has sent.

The Minister of State, Board of Trade (Mr. Goronwy Roberts)

The Chairman of B.E.A. keeps in close touch with us about future aircraft requirements. He knows that we are well seized of the need for an early decision once B.E.A. has completed its assessment of the BAC3–11 and alternative types of aircraft in the light of changes in manufacturers' specifications.

Mr. Onslow

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for that reply. Can he confirm that his right hon. Friend the Minister of Technology is seized of the need for an early decision, and indeed knows that unless a decision is taken reasonably early there is no chance of getting it right?

Mr. Roberts

I can assure the hon. Gentleman that my right hon. Friend is seized of that need. As he indicates, the Minister of Technology has an interest in this matter. We, too, are concerned with B.E.A. in the evaluation of the right type of aircraft.

Mr. Robert Howarth

Can my right hon. Friend assure us that B.E.A. will not buy American aircraft for this next round of re-equipment?

Mr. Roberts

B.E.A.'s prime concern is to ensure that the plane which is chosen meets its needs as an airline. Her Majesty's Government have to take other considerations into account, and the one mentioned by my hon. Friend is of great importance.