Mr William Taylor: That is a question which should be put on the Order Paper so that I can give a detailed Answer.
Mr William Taylor: No, Sir.
Mr William Taylor: All these supplementary questions are irrelevant to the Question on the Order Paper. Our agreement with the United States Government on the Thor weapon was published as a White Paper in February, 1958, for a period of not less than five years. It does not terminate at the end of this period and we shall have discussions with the American Government when we think they are necessary.
Mr William Taylor: The hon. Gentleman could not have stated the case better. It is being reviewed from time to time.
Mr William Taylor: The hon. Gentleman is quite right—circumstances do change. The object of reviewing these matters from time to time is to take into account the changed circumstances. The fact is that at this moment of time we are not convinced that any change is necessary. We shall go on reviewing this matter from time to time.
Mr William Taylor: During the twelve months ending 31st December, 1961, Transport Command carried about 4 per cent. of the passengers trooped by air, and civil operators carried the balance.
Mr William Taylor: Following the Report, we are now investigating this matter in detail. Whether it would be an economic proposition in principle has also to be examined in the light of statistics which we have and those which may emerge from this inquiry. Earlier statistics show that it may well be uneconomic.
Mr William Taylor: During 1961 Transport Command provided a great deal of emergency capacity for the Kuwait airlift and the standbys which followed it. That necessarily restricted its flying along the regular routes. There was also, among other things, the British Honduras disaster. In addition—this is a new point—during 1961 we changed to complete air trooping for North-West Europe where Transport Command...
Mr William Taylor: There are no plans to use bombers similar to the American B70 in the Royal Air Force.
Mr William Taylor: This must be a hypothetical question. The aircraft is an experimental aircraft doing new work in the United States. As I have said, there is no intention of introducing it into service in the Royal Air Force.
Mr William Taylor: Has my hon. and gallant Friend a statement of the number of hours worked per week?
Mr William Taylor: Surely, the hon. Member entirely discounts wages and the tax paid on consumer goods and equipment which are included in this vast sum.
Mr William Taylor: My right hon. Friend said something about the capacity of our bomber force, and he said that we had the finest bombers in the world. The hon. Member is asking how the Royal Air Force would carry out the rôles which are laid down in the eight examples. There are many other tasks besides these. The answer is that the Royal Air Force would do it by increased efficiency. Efficiency in the Air...
Mr William Taylor: The hon. Gentleman said that I "appreciated this fact." I am hanged if I appreciate either the fact or the argument he is trying to make. What is he trying to say? Is he criticising the Estimates as being too large or too small? Is he saying that because the Americans' effort is so vast—and I agree that it is vast—we can do nothing at all and must leave it all to them? I will tell him...
Mr William Taylor: I hope that the hon. Lady the Member for Lanark (Mrs. Hart) will agree with me when she recalls the circumstances accurately that I was given about 35 minutes in which to reply to a very long debate. I would not wish to be discourteous to her or to any other hon. Member, but I can give no guarantee that I shall be given sufficient time tonight to answer all the points raised by hon. Members.
Mr William Taylor: I hope the hon. Gentleman does not presume that all hon. Members are taking what he says seriously. I, for one, am certainly not.
Mr William Taylor: What did Mr. Khrushchev say?
Mr William Taylor: I have never known the hon. Gentleman the Member for Dudley (Mr. Wigg) to be short of words, even the wrong ones. Would the phrase "high-pressure salesmanship" help him?
Mr William Taylor: Has the hon. Gentleman in his researches discovered how many of these aircraft have British aircraft engines?
Mr William Taylor: I congratulate the hon. Member for Barnsley (Mr. Mason) on a very vigorous speech. As he has said, he has travelled a great deal round the world looking at the Royal Air Force, and I am glad to note that his travels have benefited him greatly and that he is now in a strong position to make effective comment on what he has seen. The hon. Member for Sheffield, Park (Mr. Mulley), who replied to...