Aircraft Industry (Contracts)

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Supply – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 2nd December 1957.

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Photo of Mr Aubrey Jones Mr Aubrey Jones , Birmingham, Hall Green 12:00 am, 2nd December 1957

I do not wish to give the impression of any ill-feeling, but I must say that I highly resent any suggestion that I have been washing my hands of this business. This is a highly important matter, and I think that scarcely anybody is more conscious of the importance of this on the future of the country than I am.

On the question of withholding orders, it is not a case of deliberately withholding them; there has been a decline in the total of military ordering. That is the essence of the problem. With regard to the second point, concerning whether I was satisfied that the inter-Departmental investigation was on a high enough level, the answer is, "Yes, I am". As for the suggestion that other outside people might be brought into it. I suggest that the important thing here is a speedy decision, and the wider these inquiries are made the less likely speedy decisions become.