HC Deb 24 January 1956 vol 548 cc30-1
50. Mr. Swingler

asked the Prime Minister how many Government Departments are involved in consultations about applications for licences to export armaments; and which Minister has final authority to accept or reject such applications.

The Prime Minister

I would refer the hon. Gentleman to paragraph 9 of the White Paper on the Export of Surplus War Material, Which we shall debate in a minute and a half.

Mr. Swingler

Is the Prime Minister aware that the paragraphs of the White Paper do not make clear the precise answer to this Question, namely, which Minister has the final authority? Is he aware that it is clear that a number of Ministers have to be consulted in this procedure and have the power to negative applications, but who in the last resort is responsible for the acceptance of applications?

The Prime Minister

I think it is clear in the paragraph, but if it is not, it is a matter which certainly can usefully be debated.