HC Deb 18 November 1970 vol 806 cc1219-20
22. Mr. Warren

asked the Minister of Aviation Supply if he will make a statement about the future of the Royal Aircraft Establishment.

Mr. Corfield

On 20th October the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough, and its outstations became part of the Ministry of Aviation Supply. My hon. Friend will be aware that the future of the whole range of responsibilities of my Ministry is at present under review. I refer my hon. Friend to paragraph 27 of Cmnd. 4506 on the Reorganisation of Central Government.

Mr. Warren

I welcome the statement by my right hon. Friend, and I hope that the current Royal Aircraft Establishment research programme will be scrutinised to see whether it contains any work which should be transferred to industry as the user.

Mr. Corfield

This question and other questions are subject to review almost continuously, but I am sure my hon. Friend will appreciate that I have not had a great deal of time to go into that matter in detail.

Mr. Benn

Will the right hon. Gentleman tell the House whether, when the review of the work of his Department is completed, it is contemplated that Farnborough, which has a high proportion of civil work, might be transferred to the Ministry of Defence, which would be most undesirable?

Mr. Corfield

This is one of the principal problems that will be the subject of review. It would be quite wrong of me to try to prejudge the result.