Britannia Aircraft

Oral Answers to Questions — Royal Air Force – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th February 1963.

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Photo of Mr Henry Hynd Mr Henry Hynd , Accrington

Is it true that there are quite a number of Britannias surplus to requirements lying at London Airport in the present ownership of B.O.A.C.? Is it also a fact that trooping overseas is now done entirely by air? Would it not be in the interests of the taxpayer if these two facts could be related?

Photo of Mr Hugh Fraser Mr Hugh Fraser , Stafford and Stone

I have been into this in considerable detail. The saving, because of the time scale, would be almost negligible. It would mean retraining crews. They are not quite the right type of aircraft. They are rather old. I have looked at this matter most carefully and at the moment I must say that I see no advantage in taking these aircraft.

Photo of Mr Cyril Osborne Mr Cyril Osborne , Louth Borough

Has any definite offer been made by the Chinese Government for any of these?

Photo of Mr Hugh Fraser Mr Hugh Fraser , Stafford and Stone

That is a matter for the the Minister of Aviation.

Photo of Mr Fred Mulley Mr Fred Mulley , Sheffield Park

I accept that it may not be necessarily the right policy to buy second-hand planes, but I hope that the right hon. Gentleman's answer is not to be construed as meaning that he is complacent about the very great deficiencies in Transport Command and our total inability to provide the mobility we need.

Photo of Mr Hugh Fraser Mr Hugh Fraser , Stafford and Stone

I hope that the hon. Gentleman will take back some of that statement. It is slightly exaggerated. I am not complacent. The V.C.10, the Belfast and other replacements will meet most of the need.