HC Deb 14 July 1975 vol 895 cc1050-1
20. Mr. Michael McNair-Wilson

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will make a statement about Concorde production.

Mr. Varley

The manufacturers are continuing with the authorised programme for production of 16 aircraft.

Mr. McNair-Wilson

Will the Secretary of State say whether all 16 are to be offered for sale or whether only 14 aeroplanes are to go into service? In view of the experience with the recent proving tests of Concorde, are there any plans to make the remaining aircraft more silent?

Mr. Varley

I have no information on the latter point but I shall look into it. My understanding is that the 16 aircraft are for sale. Future production is a matter that still has to be determined.

Mr. William Hamilton

Will my right hon. Friend say whether we shall ever get back the public money that has been spent on this project?

Mr. Varley

It depends on how many aircraft are subsequently produced and sold. I very much hope that the public will get their money back.

Mr. Jessel

Will the Government stop pretending that Concorde is quieter than it really is? Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that is makes an appalling noise which causes a great deal of distress, as was shown by the tests?

Mr. Varley

There are many varying opinions about Concorde. I can see sitting behind the hon. Gentleman the hon. Member for Christchurch and Lymington (Mr. Adley) who disagrees with practically everything the hon. Gentleman says. We want to see Concorde a success. We want the 16 authorised in the production programme to proceed and all the aircraft to be sold.