HC Deb 22 May 1978 vol 950 cc1100-1
12. Mr. Russell Kerr

asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether he is prepared to support the development by workers at Lucas Aerospace of a powered wheel for aircraft which reduces noise and waste of fuel in taxi-ing operations in and around airports.

Mr. Les Huckfield

My Department is willing to consider any specific proposals for Government support for research into new technology, or the development of new products, in the civil aerospace field.

Mr. Kerr

That is a rather disappointing answer. In the meantime, will the Minister pay his tribute to the initiative and constructive proposals in the Lucas shop stewards' corporate plan?

Mr. Huckfield

I thought I gave my hon. Friend a rather encouraging reply. If he examines the various aspects of work in the corporate plan, which I have studied in some detail, he will find that research and development work is already taking place in various Government Departments and organisations. These operations include solar heating, windmills, braking systems, electric vehicles, heat pumps, oceanics, applications of micro-processors, kidney machines, aids for the blind, aids for spina bifida patients, and powered undercarriages for aircraft.

Mr. Biffen

Does the Minister know whether the Lucas aerospace combined shop stewards, who have featured so prominently in this afternoon's Question Time, have taken this proposed development to either the National Research Development Corporation or to the National Enterprise Board and, if so, with what consequences?

Mr. Huckfield

I cannot give an up-to-date report on that matter without notice.