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Blue Streak

Volume 641: debated on Friday 5 May 1961

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3.

asked the Minister of Aviation what is the present monthly cost of the Blue Streak programme of development.

But would not the Minister of Aviation agree that this is no reduction on the monthly total over the long period, and that even this figure probably does not take into account all the costs which might fairly be included in this programme?

It is not meant to show a reduction. The idea is to get some useful work done. This work has been going on so that if a general European scheme comes forward it will be in a good position to go forward.

4.

asked the Minister of Aviation whether he will now set a date for the abandonment, if favourable replies have not been received by then to his request for co-operation from allied countries, of the Blue Streak development programme.

Would not the Minister agree that, while it may be desirable to achieve this co-operation if it is possible, it is time that he told the German and other allied Governments concerned that we cannot go on indefinitely with this large monthly and annual expenditure without arriving at some conclusion, and that a date ought to be set when these negotiations must be brought to an end one way or another?

I fully appreciate the right hon. Gentleman's point about trying to reach a conclusion, but as I am expecting the decision of the Federal German Government following upon their technical evaluation of the project very soon now, I should prefer to await it before taking any further decision.

7.

asked the Minister of Aviation what reply he has received from the West German Government to his proposal that West Germany should co-operate in the development of Blue Streak as a satellite launcher.

Has the Minister told the German and other European countries that if they do not co-operate with us we are quite able and willing to do this project by ourselves and shall continue to produce it and that if they do not join in they will be missing a very great opportunity? Will he not be put off by my right hon. Friend the Member for Dundee, West (Mr. Strachey), for whom I have the very greatest admiration, but whose rather gloomy approach today befits neither him nor the position in which he is sitting today?

We all have a great admiration for the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dundee, West (Mr. Strachey), but I can assure him that I am by no means put off by him.

Will the Minister realise that most of us, at any rate, on these benches do think that this is one thing or the other—either we get European co-operation in this venture, or it is one which should not be pursued?