HC Deb 14 November 1967 vol 754 cc57-8W
8. Mr. Biffen

asked the Minister of Technology if he will make a statement on the expected total research and development costs at 1966 prices of the Concord supersonic aircraft.

Mr. Stonehouse

The latest estimate agreed between the two Governments of the expenditure that will be incurred in respect of work done by the contractors remains at £500 million at 1966 prices.

In addition to the £500 million, we have estimated that costs at Mintech's Research Establishments will amount to about £30 million. Intramural expenditure on the French side is on a broadly comparable scale.

Mr. Brooks

asked the Minister of Technology whether he will give an undertaking that before coming to a decision on the method of financing the production of the Concord there will be an opportunity of debating the matter in the House.

Mr. Stonehouse

I would refer my hon. Friend to the Answer I gave to similar Questions this afternoon.

Mr. Rankin

asked the Minister of Technology if he will state the nature of the technical troubles which have caused the increase in the development costs of the Concord.

Mr. Stonehouse

The latest firm estimate agreed with the French Government remains at the £500 million figure given last year, plus intramural expenditure expected to reach £30 million in Ministry of Technology establishments in Britain, and a broadly comparable amount in France. In this complex project a large number of technical problems have been met and overcome. The manufacturers have recently agreed on modifications to meet the needs of the airlines. This has resulted in an increase in design take-off weight from 350,000 lbs. to 367,000 lbs. In view of this it is proposed to reduce the maximum permissible structure temperature.