HC Deb 26 January 1971 vol 810 cc317-8
Q9. Mr. Adley

asked the Prime Minister whether he himself will make an early flight in Concorde. in view of the fact that the French Prime Minister has already done so.

The Prime Minister

I understand that the French Prime Minister has not, in fact, flown in Concorde, though certain French Ministers have done so. I shall certainly be glad to consider doing so myself.

Mr. Adley

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for that answer. Does he appreciate that now is the critical time for the British and French Governments to show their confidence in Concorde because its customers, the world's airlines, are waiting to see what will be the attitude of these Governments to this aeroplane? Does he agree that this great British and French adventure, achievement and investment has a golden future which he could bless by taking a flight in it now?

The Prime Minister

I was expecting a rather warmer welcome back from my hon. Friend. [Laughter.] I shall certainly discuss with those concerned the best time for me to take a fight, if they would like me to do so.

Mr. Hugh Jenkins

While I would not in any way wish to dissuade the hon. Gentleman from accepting his hon. Friend's invitation to take a flight in Concorde, may I ask him to agree that it might be even more important for him to subject himself to the sonic boom of Concorde? Is it not a fact that while relatively few people will fly in this aeroplane, large numbers are likely to experience its boom?

The Prime Minister

This is a matter of great importance which, as the hon. Gentleman knows, is under examination now. Many countries have come to the conclusion that in the interests of the environment and the well-being of the people of their countries, this matter must be satisfactorily explored and dealt with.