TSR2 Aircraft

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Aviation – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th November 1964.

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Photo of Mr John Eden Mr John Eden , Bournemouth West 12:00 am, 18th November 1964

asked the Minister of Aviation what progress is being made with the TSR2 programme; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Roy Jenkins Mr Roy Jenkins , Birmingham Stechford

The TSR2 flew for the first time on 27th September. This flight was satisfactory. The aircraft was then laid up for an engine change and for other normal work. I understand that it should fly again shortly. Future expenditure on this costly and complex, but very important, project is necessarily a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence as well as myself.

Photo of Mr John Eden Mr John Eden , Bournemouth West

Can the right hon. Gentleman assure the House that it is still the intention of Her Majesty's Government to bring this equipment into service with Bomber Command as speedily as possible?

Photo of Mr Roy Jenkins Mr Roy Jenkins , Birmingham Stechford

I can assure the House that it is the intention of the Government to take into account the progress which has been made and the expenditure which has taken place on this project, together with all other considerations.

Photo of Mr Henry Hynd Mr Henry Hynd , Accrington

If there is any difficulty about flying the TSR2 for the purpose for which the last Government intended, will the Minister try to apply it for the purpose for which it was originally designed?

Photo of Mr Roy Jenkins Mr Roy Jenkins , Birmingham Stechford

We shall certainly beat that in mind.

Photo of Mr Angus Maude Mr Angus Maude , Stratford-on-Avon

Is the Minister aware that his last answer but one will cause considerable concern, because it suggests that not only is this another project which is, in the current jargon, "under review" but that he is at least disposed towards cancellation of it, which is a serious matter from the national point of view?

Photo of Mr Roy Jenkins Mr Roy Jenkins , Birmingham Stechford

It does not suggest anything more than it says, which is that the Secretary of State for Defence and my other colleagues are fully entitled to review the position which was left to them.