asked the Minister of Aviation whether he has accepted the recommendation of the Plowden Committee that Her Majesty's Government should be willing to consider proposals for Government assistance towards projects with promising export prospects even if no requirement for them by the British services has been established.
This recommendation to consider proposals from industry is accepted in principle, but cases will be considered on their merits as they arise. I would expect, however, that the instances where such assistance would be justified will be rare, since it is very difficult to get other countries to buy military equipment for which no requirement by our own Services has been established.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that we have just had 30 minutes of waffle and evasive promises from him and his right hon. Friend? Is he further aware that the uncertainty in the aircraft industry which lasted while the Plowden Committee sat still continues, although it has reported? When are the Government going to do something about it?
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the Japanese are offering a ten-year credit for the purchase of the YS 11, whereas in the case of its British competitor, the Hawker-Siddeley HS 748, the Government are giving only 5 years' credit? Will he take steps to see that British manufacturers are able to offer credit terms which are at least as good as the Japanese or any other manufacturers with whom we are competing?