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When ships and hovercraft both qualify for investment grants, why does the Minister persist in subsidising these two types of external transport at the expense of air transport? Is it not time that something was done to widen the British market for British aircraft, and to stop firms such as the British Steel Corporation from buying foreign aircraft?
I know nothing about the latter part of the hon. Member's Question. He will be aware of the reasons for excluding aircraft, which were given and fully discussed during the proceedings on the Industrial Development Bill, even though he finds them unacceptable. Since investment is being considered by the Edwards Committee, we ought to postpone the exchange, which I know the hon. Member would wish to have, until we see that Report.
If the right hon. Gentleman will not consider including aircraft in the investment grants scheme will he, in view of the increasing recognition of the value to business efficiency of air transport, whether by scheduled aircraft or executive-type aircraft, endeavour to find some way of encouraging investment in aircraft?