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Aircraft Industry And Civil Airports (Assistance)

Volume 649: debated on Monday 20 November 1961

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asked the Minister of Aviation what was the total of Exchequer assistance to the aircraft industry, including the development of new types of civil aircraft, during the last financial year; and what was the total Government subsidy to civil airports.

The expenditure in 1960–61 on assistance to the development and proving of transport aircraft was about £7¼ million. Expenditure in support of municipal airports was approximately £1·1 million.

Can my hon. Friend say whether these figures are likely to rise with the increasing cost of research, or will co-operation with European countries keep these amounts stable?

I am sorry that I cannot give predictions on that at the moment. We do receive something back from the support which we give to the aircraft industry, and during the year to which my hon. Friend's Question refers we had £2¼ million back, a sum we would expect to increase.

What was the total assistance, both military and civil, particularly as the civil programme is to 4 large extent dependent upon military expenditure? What was the total allocated to airports, and not only municipal airports?

I am sorry, but it is not possible to distinguish the figures for military and civil aircraft because, in many cases, an aircraft covers both purposes and it is our aim to try to harmonise the two uses. As regards airports in general, the figure for the cost of State airports, as distinct from municipal airports, during the year in question was £3·8 million.

Is the figure of 7½ million the total for the aircraft industry, or is the hon. Gentleman dividing it into civil and military?