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Aircraft (Investment Grants)

Oral Answers to Questions — Board of Trade – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th March 1968.

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Photo of Mr Cranley Onslow Mr Cranley Onslow , Woking 12:00 am, 13th March 1968

asked the President of the Board of Trade what conclusion he has reached regarding the eligibility of aircraft for investment grants.

Photo of Mr George Darling Mr George Darling , Sheffield, Hillsborough

I see no reason at present to depart from the priorities laid down in the White Paper on investment incentives.

Photo of Mr Cranley Onslow Mr Cranley Onslow , Woking

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?

Photo of Mr George Darling Mr George Darling , Sheffield, Hillsborough

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.

Photo of Mr Frederick Corfield Mr Frederick Corfield , Gloucestershire South

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?

Photo of Mr George Darling Mr George Darling , Sheffield, Hillsborough

That is a question which I would always be prepared to study.