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Propeller Turbine Engines (Cancelled Contract)

Volume 440: debated on Monday 21 July 1947

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asked the Minister of Supply why the contract allotted to Roy Fedden, Limited, for the development of a low-powered airscrew-driving turbine has been cancelled.

In the interests of economy it was necessary to review the propeller turbine engines within this power range now under development and it was decided that the continued support of this project was not justified. I welcome this opportunity of stating in public, as I have already assured Sir Roy Fedden personally, that the decision does not, of course, imply any reflection on the ability of the company.

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that the jet turbine business is a great source of income to this country from hard currency areas and, when this particular turbine was so very near completion, why should he be so shortsighted as to cancel the contract?

In view of the tact that other turbines were in a more advanced state of development, it was not considered justified to continue incurring expenditure on this one.

is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is said that this turbine would have been completed and running within three months? Why cancel it then?

May I ask the right non Gentleman why it was necessary to cancel this contract when he has also made it impossible for this factory to produce anything else? Will he see that Sir Roy Fedden and the group of skilled workers around him will be used in the national interest?

The factory was used on this contract purely on research and development work. The question of the use of the factory for production is one for my right hon. and learned Friend the President of the Board of Trade to decide.