§ Mr. Gorst
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what was the total Government expenditure during each of the past five years on projects connected with the development of hovercraft; how much is being spent by the Government on hovercraft development during the current year; and how much it is proposed to spend during each of the next five years.
§ Mr. Onslow
Total Government expenditure on the civil side on projects connected with the development of hovercraft for each of the past five years was:
DTI NRDC 1968–69 £500,000 £200,000 1969–70 £600,000 £200,000 1970–71 £900,000 £100,000 1971–72 £800,000 £30,000 1972–73 £800,000 £10,000
During the current year, the estimate for expenditure on hovercraft development is £800,000 for the DTI, and for the NRDC £20,000. Termination of Government special assistance for hovercraft was announced by my right hon. Friend the then Minister of Aerospace on 20th March 1972.—[Vol. 833, c. 1054–5.]
It is expected that the final payments under these arrangements will be made by 1975–6—that is, in 1974–5 £700,000 and in 1975–6 £200,000 by the DTI, with no further expected expenditure by the NRDC. The hovercraft industry will, of course, be able to submit proposals for research and development to the Ship and Marine Technology Requirements Board like other interested industries, and of course under the procedure under the Industry Act.
Questions about defence expenditure on hovercraft should be addressed to my right hon. and noble Friend the Secretary of State for Defence.