Jaguar Aircraft

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 Anthony Royle Mr Anthony Royle , Richmond (Surrey) 12:00 am, 30th November 1966

asked the Minister of Aviation what manufacture of the Jaguar strike/trainer aircraft will take place in the United Kingdom; when production contracts will be awarded; and what rate of profit to the manufacturer will be provided for in these contracts.

Photo of Mr Fred Mulley Mr Fred Mulley , Sheffield Park

Production plans are now being drawn up for substantial numbers of this aircraft. It is too early to say when production contracts will be awarded. The profit rates will accord with the normal practices of Her Majesty's Government and of the French Government.

Photo of Mr Anthony Royle Mr Anthony Royle , Richmond (Surrey)

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is grave concern in this country at the possibility that this project might also be cancelled? Will he give an assurance that there is no question at present of the Jaguar project being cancelled by either the French Government or ourselves? Will he also give an assurance that there is no question but that he will tell the House immediately a decision has been reached on numbers and the profit which will be made from this aircraft?

Photo of Mr Fred Mulley Mr Fred Mulley , Sheffield Park

It is not usual to give the House figures of profits—[Laughter.] —or losses. These are confidential affairs of the companies. I should be happy to read them to the House if I had the permission of the companies concerned. On the question of assurances, I do not know how many assurances hon. Members opposite want. The communiqué issued jointly after the meeting we had with the French Ministers authorised a further development programme, and the officials on both sides were authorised to draw up production plans. The project is going ahead well. I can see no reason why the hon. Gentleman should continue to spread disquiet and anxiety throughout the industry.

Photo of Mr William Hamling Mr William Hamling , Woolwich West

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the taxpayer is certainly interested in the profits and losses of these projects?

Photo of Mr Fred Mulley Mr Fred Mulley , Sheffield Park

At the end of the day no doubt figures will be available.