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Ministry Of Supply

Volume 462: debated on Wednesday 16 March 1949

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Aircraft (Sales Abroad)

59.

asked the Minister of Supply how many sales have taken place of British aircraft to foreign operators in the latest convenient period; what were the types; and what was the price.

I assume the Question to refer to sales of civil aircraft. During the year ended 31st December, 1948, the following types of British civil aircraft have been delivered to overseas operators; Anson, Bristol Freighters, Consuls, Doves, Rapides, Vikings, converted Halifaxes, Sunderlands and Stirlings. The total value of aircraft sales, military and civil to overseas purchasers in this period was nearly £13½ million. I am not in a position to break this figure down as between civil and military types or to divulge the prices of individual contracts.

Could the Minister say what were the types of military aircraft sent overseas as the Question does not ask just for civil but for British types?

I made the assumption about civil aircraft because of the word "operator," but about 15 types of military aircraft were sent overseas. I do not think that the hon. Member would wish me to give details of them in terms of Meteors, Vampires, and so on.

What about the sales of Auster aircraft, which the House knows took place to Israel before it was recognised de facto; and were these aircraft used by them in operations against the Arabs? The Minister has not mentioned them.

Flying Boats

60.

asked the Minister of Supply what progress has now been made with the S.R.45; and what is the estimated date of delivery of these flying boats to the British South American Airways Corporation.

Satisfactory progress is being maintained with the design and construction of these flying boats. Delivery is expected to begin early in 1952.