HC Deb 17 June 1999 vol 333 c556
13. Mr. Bob Russell (Colchester)

What plans he has to support companies engaged in the manufacture of diesel engines. [86505]

The Minister for Energy and Industry (Mr. John Battle)

The Government are providing support to develop diesel engine technology in a number of different sectors, not least through the science budget. The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council is providing £1.15 million to fund research covering diesel engine development, and an additional £1.2 million for research into the general development of the internal combustion engine.

Mr. Russell

I welcome that reply, as far as it goes. I draw the Minister's attention to a company in my constituency, Paxman Alstom, which is suffering because orders from the privatised rail industry and the Ministry of Defence have fallen. I urge the Minister and his colleagues in his Department and in the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions to implore the rail companies to invest more in new diesel locomotives. Will he also urge the Ministry of Defence to place its orders with British manufacturers?

Mr. Battle

The Paxman division of Alstom Engines manufactures compact high-speed diesel engines for a wide variety of uses, including commercial, naval marine, high-speed rail traction, off-road, onshore and power generation applications. We are keen that its technological expertise should be enhanced and developed, and that purpose underpins our science and engineering programme. In making appropriate representations to the Ministry of Defence and other Departments on where to place their contracts, the DTI highlights technological expertise and the impact on jobs

Forward to