§ 81. Mr. Arthur Lewis
asked the Minister of Aviation whether he will make a statement giving details of the 78W countries visited by his Parliamentary Secretary since his appointment; what were the reasons for these visits; what were the costs; and what new export orders have resulted from these visits.
§ Mr. Roy Jenkins
During the Christmas Recess my hon. Friend visited Brazil, Argentina and Chile on his first official journey overseas since his appointment. The object of the journey was twofold: to obtain realisation of our full traffic rights for British United Airways in Brazil and Argentina and to promote the sale of British aircraft in South America.
After his discussions with the Brazilian Foreign Minister about the B.U.A. service, it was announced that one commercial flight would be allowed weekly. The first commercial flights into Rio de Janeiro by B.U.A. commenced within three days. We are still pressing for freedom to exercise our full rights on a second service weekly. Progress was also made towards resolving some remaining impediments to the exercise of B.U.A.'s rights in Argentina.
My hon. Friend obtained much valuable information about the excellent long-term prospects for the sale of British aircraft in the important South American market. As far as current orders are concerned, Handley Page has just announced delivery of two Heralds worth £½ million to Brazil and the prospects of selling four VC.10s, worth £10 million to Aero-Lineas Argentinas, have improved. The total cost of the journey, including the costs of two supporting officials, was around £1,900. Having received a full report from my hon. Friend, I am sure that his visit was most valuable.