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Blue Streak

Volume 640: debated on Monday 15 May 1961

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asked the Minister of Aviation if he will make a statement on the future of Blue Streak.

The technical development of Blue Streak as the first stage of a statellite launcher has been proceeding satisfactorily. Other countries in Europe have been studying the Anglo-French proposals for a combined effort in this field, and in particular the Federal German Government have been conducting a detailed technical evaluation of them. We hope to receive their conclusions shortly.

Does the Minister realise that no worth-while technical advance has been made with Blue Streak for over a year and that the teams concerned are being dissipated and demoralised? Does the right hon. Gentleman remember that he once resigned from the Government because they were trying to spend too much money? Will he now promise to resign if they do not spend enough money to launch an independent space programme?

The hon. Gentleman's first two assertions are based on the wrong information. It is not true to say that we have made no technical progress. We have done very well up at Spadeadam and we are making excellent technical progress. There is no question of anybody feeling upset or dispirited there. If the hon. Gentleman would like to go up there at any time I would be very happy to make arrangements for him to do so.

May I put again the supplementary question that I asked on an earlier Question, namely, whether the Minister will let the German Government know that we are not prepared to wait for ever for them and that if they are not prepared to come in with us soon we shall go ahead with the French ourselves?

I do not think there is any need to let the German Government know that. I am sure they intend to report to us shortly on their technical evaluation.