HL Deb 12 November 1947 vol 152 cc586-7

My Lords, I beg to ask the question standing in my name on the Order Paper.

[The question was as follows:

To ask His Majesty's Government whether the completion of contracts already placed for the Brabazon I civil airliner and the Saunders-Roe civil flying boat, are now under reconsideration and, if so, what new technical reasons have caused this reconsideration, and whether a final decision is likely to be arrived at at an early date.]


My Lords, no new decision has been taken. As I informed the noble Lord in answer to his question on November 5, work has not been suspended on either of the aircraft mentioned owing to the economic crisis, but their future will be considered in the ordinary way entirely on merits. The procedure for such consideration is well established. There is a standing Inter-departmental Civil Aircraft Requirements Committee, which represents the Ministry of Civil Aviation, the Ministry of Supply and the three Airways Corporations. This Committee has been meeting regularly under the chairmanship of the Permanent Secretary of my Ministry in order to consider and review progress reports on civil aircraft under construction, including the Brabazon I and the Saunders-Roe flying boat, and to assess the position as it may develop from time to time.


While thanking the noble Lord for his reply, might I ask him this? In view of the importance to the future of British civil aviation of these aircraft, if at any time the Government do take a decision to cease work on either or both of these aircraft, would he be so good as to see that an announcement to that effect is made forthwith?


I cannot think it likely that any decision such as that envisaged by the noble Lord, serious as it would be, would be made without a public announcement.

2.48 p.m.

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