HC Deb 16 March 1960 vol 619 cc1276-7
11. Mr. Dodds

asked the Secretary of State for Air if he has yet been able to persuade Mr. Abraham Solomons to return the automatic gun parts, and on what conditions; and, in view of the importance of mutilating all machine gun parts before disposing of them as scrap, what disciplinary action has been taken against those responsible for the sale of parts costing £40,000 for £26 to Mr. Solomons in the same condition as they were purchased for Service purposes.

The Secretary of State for Air (Mr. George Ward)

I understand that Mr. Solomons has now sold the spares to a registered arms dealer. The sale of un-mutilated spares was not contrary to the Departmental regulations in force at the time, and there is therefore no question of disciplinary action.

Mr. Dodds

Can the right hon. Gentleman deny that the series of Answers which he has given on this matter is a classic example of how the Minister can seize upon a grain of truth which, when intelligently used, can give an entirely different impression of the real situation and so cover up a costly blunder? Will the right hon. Gentleman at least admit that there is no one in his Department who has been concerned with this transaction who has acted with the wisdom of Solomons?