The government had come to the conclusion that the national interest would best be served by a merger of the airframe interests of BAC and Hawker Siddeley into a single company.
The government envisaged acquiring BAC's capital and merging it with Hawker Siddeley. The ownership of BAC would thus give the government a minority stake in the new company. Although BAC's parent companies were prepared to sell their shares for a reasonable price, the government proposal, in their view, undervalued the group. By August 1967, the success of the BAC 1–11 and defence sales to Saudi Arabia made the prospect of the parent companies selling their shares less likely. In December 1967, Anthony Wedgwood Benn, the Minister of Technology, while reiterating his desire to see a merged BAC and HSA, admitted it would not be possible
Hawker Siddeley Aircraft was formed in 1935 as a result of the purchase by Hawker Aircraft of the companies of J. D. Siddeley, the automotive and engine builder Armstrong Siddeley and the aircraft manufacturer Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft. At this time, Hawker Siddeley also acquired A.V. Roe & Company (Avro), Gloster Aircraft Company (Gloster) and Air Training Services. The constituent companies continued to produce their own aircraft designs under their own name as well as sharing manufacturing work throughout the group.
Britten Norman Defender / Britten Norman Islander / Britten Norman Trilander / Havilland DHC-6 / Percival Pembroke / Hawker 748 Andover / Hawker ATP /
deHavilland DH.84 Dragon / deHavilland DH.89 Rapide / deHavilland DH.106 Comet / deHavilland DH.104 Dove / deHavilland DH.114 Heron /
DHA-3 Drover / Concorde / Scottish Aviation Pioneer / Short Skyvan / Short 360
British Commercial Aircraft.
Tower: "Delta 351, you have traffic at 10 o'clock, 6 miles."
Delta 351: "Give us another hint! We have digital watches."