HC Deb 08 December 1969 vol 793 cc22-3W
66. Mr. Ellis

asked the Minister of Technology if he will make a further statement on the current position with regard to the development programme of the Concorde aircraft.

Mr. Benn

The Concorde development programme is continuing, and the two prototypes have now completed 170 hours of flight test. I have, for the present, nothing further to add to my statement on this subject on 10th November.—[Vol. 791, c. 20–2.]

Mr. Michael McNair-Wilson

asked the Minister of Technology whether he is aware that the moving map display in use in the Concorde supersonic transport aircraft is based on an invention of Mr. John Hargrave in 1939, and that 10 of the 12 basic component parts in the moving map were covered by Mr. Hargrave's Patents 525812 and 528555, which were incorporated in the Ministry of Aviation Patent 926448 (Navigational Apparatus) of 1960 to 1963; and whether he will make an ex-gratia payment to Mr. Hargrave.

Mr. Benn

I am aware that the moving map display shown in the Ministry's patent has resemblances to devices shown in prior publications, including those in Mr. Hargrave's patents, which lapsed in 1946.

The display installed in Concorde aircraft was developed by a contractor from Ministry designs (illustrated by patent No. 926448) but these originated at R.A.E. about 1959–60 independently of Mr. Hargrave.

Mr. Hargrave is not eligible to be considered for an ex-gratia payment because there is no causal connection between his submissions to Government Departments in 1939–41 and the R.A.E. development in 1959–60. Under long-established principles adopted by successive Royal Commissions on Awards to Inventors a causal connection is an essential prerequisite.