HC Deb 05 July 1978 vol 953 cc429-30
1. Mr. Ronald Atkins

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what proposals he has received for investment in the advanced passenger train.

The Secretary of State for Transport (Mr. William Rodgers)

None beyond those approved in 1974 for the construction of prototypes.

Mr. Atkins

When my right hon. Friend approves funds, will he ensure that sufficient productive capacity and marketing facilities are available so that Britain will reap through exports the rewards of British inventive genius and not lose this invention, as many others have been lost, to foreign industries?

Mr. Rodgers

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that question and I certainly give him the assurance for which he asks. This is a first-class technological development and I hope that it will have considerable export potential.

Mr. Adley

May I reinforce the point made by the hon. Member for Preston, North (Mr. Atkins) and ask the Secretary of State to ensure that our posts in foreign countries bring to the attention of railway companies, whether nationalised or private, the tremendous advances that British Rail engineering has made on this project?

Mr. Rodgers

It probably needs an even more intensive marketing operation than the hon. Gentleman suggests. British Rail has this very much in mind and I am glad that quite a number of people have been to Derby to see the present prototype.