As I told the hon. Member on 3rd November, we are interested in the Gnat in its developed form, but it is not possible to decide whether to order this aircraft until it has been thoroughly evaluated as a military weapon for the Royal Air Force.
§ Mr. Wyatt
As it is now discovered that the Hunter's guns will not work and are unlikely to be made to do so, and as it is now realised that the Swift will 148 never be in operation, and as it is now understood that the P.1 is unlikely to be successful either, would it not be a good idea to order at least some prototypes of the Folland Gnat, which is admitted by the Air Ministry to be a very satisfactory machine, rather than go on buying expensive aircraft, which are all failures, at five times the price?
To begin with, I cannot accept the premise upon which that supplementary question is based. Secondly, it is quite a different thing to have a good flying machine and to have a good fighting weapon. We must be sure that the aircraft we order will be a good fighting weapon.
I do not know whether it has been rejected by N.A.T.O. but I would like to make it clear that I am not now talking about the original version of the Gnat but about the developed version, which has not yet been built.