HC Deb 13 December 1976 vol 922 cc941-2
1. Mr. Rost

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will report progress on the collaboration between Rolls-Royce and American manufacturers.

The Minister of State, Department of Industry (Mr. Gerald Kaufman)

Rolls-Royce's discussions with American manfacturers cover confidential commercial matters between the companies, and it would be improper for me to comment in detail. However, I understand that satisfactory progress is being made in current negotiations on an intermediate engine.


Why has not the Minister yet supported Rolls-Royce in a collaborative project with McDonnell-Douglas to get the RB211 stretched version engine into the DC10? A number of airlines are anxious to buy this aircraft and they would prefer that it had Rolls-Royce engines. Is not this country missing out on a substantial potential market?

Mr. Kaufman

The hon. Gentleman totally misunderstands the situation. The collaborative ventures which we are considering are collaborative between Rolls-Royce and Pratt and Whitney. Of course we support Rolls-Royce in seeking to get engines into American aircraft. I have had discussions with leading figures in McDonnell-Douglas, including Mr. Sanford McDonnell, both in this country and at Long Beach.

Mr. Whitehead

Does not my hon. Friend agree that this is an appropriate week to congratulate Rolls-Royce on a major export deal, and that this is a very good example of export-led growth by a public industry? As far as collaborative deals with the United States are concerned, is it not a fact that the agreement with Pratt and Whitney on the JT10D is proceeding according to plan? There is no objection from Rolls-Royce towards the attitude of the British Government to this project.

Mr. Kaufman

The talks with Pratt and Whitney are going forward satisfactorily, and we have had no complaints from Rolls-Royce. My hon. Friend has referred to the excellent deal between Rolls-Royce and the Soviet Union. This would never have been possible if the Conservatives had not been sensible and shrewd enough to keep Rolls-Royce going in public ownership.

Back to