§ 36. Mr. de Freitas
asked the Secretary of State for Air what is now the estimated value of the automatic gun parts sold at the Royal Air Force Station, Hartlebury, to Mr. Abraham Solomons; and how much money was received for them.
The only value of which the Air Ministry is aware for these parts is their scrap value, estimated now at £50. Their corresponding value in 1957 was £26 and they were sold for this sum.
§ Mr. de Freitas
Can the Secretary of State assure the House that there is absolutely no truth in newspaper reports that these parts are worth many thousands of pounds, and that officers of his Department have visited this man to try and get him to sell them back
I was, naturally, quoting the scrap value of these parts; they were sold, as the hon. Member knows, as 1212 scrap. I am not concerned with the real value but with the scrap value, which is what we sold them for. When we heard that the police were objecting to these goods being sold as firearms we recognised that it would have been better if we had mutilated them before selling them as scrap, which is what we do nowadays. Therefore, it seemed right to offer to take them back. It is quite wrong to suggest that we have any use for them.