§ Mr. Carter-Jones
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if his Department has examined the evaluation studies carried out for the suitability of the new version HS748 aircraft to replace existing models for the Leeward Islands Air Transport; if his Department is providing financial support for the offer made by British Aerospace; if he will use his best efforts to make sure that the Leeward Islands Air Transport obtains the replacement aircraft it prefers; what assessment he has made of the safety record of existing Leeward Islands Air Transport aircraft; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Pattie
[pursuant to the reply, 29 October 1984, c. 877]: The approval of contractors for European development fund financial projects is a matter for the Commission of the European Communities, in accordance with the rules laid down in the Lomb convention, and for the recipient states. My right hon. Friend the Minister for Overseas Development has made clear to the Commission 1020W that we expect the rules to be fully and fairly applied in this case. I understand discussions are continuing between Leeward Islands Air Transport (LIAT) and the Commission, and my right hon. Friend is keeping a close watch on developments.
The Governments of those Caribbean states which own LIAT have not requested British aid for the purchase of aeroplanes. My Department has not examined the evaluation studies referred to, and has no responsibility for the assessment of the safety of LIAT's aircraft.