§ Colonel Burton
asked the Secretary of State for Air the number of firms capable of making aeroplanes, either wholly or in part, by direct or sub-contract, who are still without orders for production?
No firm which possesses the organisation, floor space, equipment, labour and experience necessary for the speedy production of complete aircraft is without orders. With regard to the making of aeroplane parts, my hon. and gallant Friend will appreciate that this covers the production of one or more of a multitude of items ranging from small bolts, nuts, washers, etc., to complete wings and other major components. While it cannot be said that every firm capable of making any of these very numerous items has an order, I can assure my hon. and gallant Friend that use is being made of some thousands of such firms as sub-contractors to the main contractors, and that the capacity of suitable additional firms is being absorbed as rapidly as the balanced development of the production programme permits.