§ The Under-Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (Mr. David Price)
Negotiations with the early option holders are proceeding as quickly as can be expected and are not hindering negotiations with other potential customers.
§ Mr. Adley
I am grateful for that assurance. Can my hon. Friend confirm that the option positions of B.A.O.C. and Air France were first set up nine years ago, since when there has been a substantial change in the situation? Is he not aware that there is a possibility that these early option holders could use delaying tactics, by having a grip on the early order positions, to prevent those who are now ready to place order immediately from so doing? Will he consider fixing a time limit under which B.O.A.C. and Air France will have a date by which, if they have not placed firm orders, airlines which have not so far done so will have a chance to do so?