HC Deb 05 July 1971 vol 820 cc898-9
2. Mr. Walter Johnson

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he is now in a position to make a further statement on the Rolls-Royce RB211 engine.

30. Mr. Dalyell

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the latest position regarding the RB211 engine.

The Minister for Aerospace (Mr. Frederick Corfield)

I informed the House on 10th May of the position reached in negotiations on the RB211 engine. We now await a decision from the United States Government whether they will provide the necessary support to enable Lockheed to complete the TriStar project for which the RB211 is intended.—[Vol. 817, c. 32–8.]

Mr. Johnson

It now appears that the American Congress is unlikely to support the bank loan for Lockheed. Bearing in mind that the proposed legislation which the American Government are trying to put through Congress may not be concluded—

Hon. Members


Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. Gentleman must ask a question.

Mr. Johnson

—by the time Congress rises for the Summer Recess, will the Minister give an undertaking that work one the RB211 engine will go on? It is suggested that the main objection to the bank loan is lack of firm orders. Will the Minister ask B.E.A., as a matter of urgency, to make a decision on the purchase of the TriStar, because I believe that that could clinch the deal?

Mr. Corfield

On the continuation of the RB211 beyond 8th August, I have nothing to add to what my right hon. Friend said on 14th June. With regard to B.E.A.'s order, this is a matter for B.E.A.'s commercial judgment, bearing in mind that there are other aircraft available with British contributions.

Mr. Dalyell

What advice does the Minister have for Rolls-Royce sub-contractors?

Mr. Corfield

I have nothing further to add to my previous statement on that subject.

Mr. Rost

Will my hon. Friend say whether his Department is investigating the prospect of using the RB211 engine in the VC10?

Mr. Corfield

This and other matters are subject to consideration. They are only peripheral and do not in themselves, as I see it, justify the production of this engine.