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Thursday, 1 June 1972
Page: 2423

Senator MULVIHILL (NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Minister for Civil Aviation. Is it true that the British Overseas Airways Corporation and Air France will place orders for the Concorde on the condition that their respective governments guarantee to underwrite them against operating loss, major engineering failure and so on? Does the Minister consider that such conditions applied to a Qantas Airways Ltd procurement of such aircraft would duplicate some of the harsh clauses in the F111 agreement with United States aircraft manufacturers?

Senator COTTON (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Civil Aviation) - This is a fair exercise in fantasy. My knowledge of the matter is this: The British Overseas Aircraft Corporation has placed firm orders for 5 Concorde aircraft. I know of a rumour that Air France will place orders, as I would expect it would, for Concorde aircraft, but I know nothing positive. I do not know about the price, the operating conditions or any guarantee. As far as Qantas Airways Ltd is concerned, I believe that the time would be a long way off before that airline would be interested in the Concorde. There are fundamental and very sound economic reasons for this. Beyond that I cannot go and I do not want to speculate in these areas.

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