United States and France (Projects Study)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Aviation – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 30th November 1966.

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Photo of Mr Stephen Hastings Mr Stephen Hastings , Mid Bedfordshire 12:00 am, 30th November 1966

asked the Minister of Aviation what action he has taken to implement the recommendation of the Plowden Committee that a further study should be made of the methods employed in the United States of America and France for initiating, assessing and launching new projects.

Photo of Mr Julian Snow Mr Julian Snow , Lichfield and Tamworth

Before the Plowden Committee's Report, and subsequently, we have had access to a great deal of information about American methods and procedures. We have also been able to study the methods of the French at close hand through our association with them on both military and civil projects.

Photo of Mr Stephen Hastings Mr Stephen Hastings , Mid Bedfordshire

Is the Minister aware that this is welcome news, but that what we are looking forward to are some conclusions on improvements as a result of this study? Does not he agree that one of the main differences is the speed with which the American and French seem to be able to take decisions in the aeronautical field compared with us and the confidence which exists between the industry and the Governments of both countries, which is sadly lacking here?

Photo of Mr Julian Snow Mr Julian Snow , Lichfield and Tamworth

I hope that the hon. Member is not citing in aid the French authorities' indecision on the VG, which we are hoping will come to a successful conclusion. The real trouble here is the lack of precision in the science of development costs estimating. This is a very difficult matter, which is receiving most urgent attention by the Department.