Rolls-Royce

Part of Prayers – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 26th February 1971.

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Photo of Mr Cranley Onslow Mr Cranley Onslow , Woking 12:00 am, 26th February 1971

No, I will not give way. I have made plain that I shall be brief.

Now, a point which may have been overlooked. In January last year Flight International published on page 139 a brief report which said in terms, There have been delays in settling accounts with creditors for periods of up to 12 months. The following week, on page 175 in the same magazine, there appeared a paragraph, no doubt dictated by the lawyers, under the heading, "Rolls-Royce—a correction", which said: Our report also stated that there have been delays in settling accounts with creditors for periods of up to 12 months. It is both untrue and unrealistic to believe that Rolls-Royce suppliers wait 12 months for payment. Any instances of such a long delay could only occur when disputes about invoices prove exceptionally difficult to resolve. I direct that statement to the attention of the inspectors who are to inquire into the affairs of this company, and to the new management. That sort of situation, clearly, was accurately reported in the first instance, and it must be dealt with.

Let us, for heaven's sake, not be mesmerised by the RB21I. Let us understand that, whereas we may have found ourselves forced out, by mismanagement on a massive scale, of the large-bodied large-engined subsonic civil aircraft market, we must keep our capacity going in other areas, and particularly in the military field. The RB199 is a vital project to the defence of this country and to joint endeavours with Europe in future years. Short take-off and landing has enormous potential ahead of it, for all sorts of reasons.

Let us not be tied down and hypnotised by this one RB211 contract lest we find in 12 months that events have not gone as we have optimistically supposed and that Lockheed is threatened with another financial crisis because orders have not materialised, and we are then, indeed, in the gravest danger of having done ourselves out of the rest of the aero-engine business as well.