HC Deb 05 April 1965 vol 710 cc6-7
3. Mr. Burden

asked the Secretary of State for Defence when the performance figures of the Phantom F4 aircraft were taken off the secret list; if his disclosure of the performance figures of this aircraft was made with the prior knowledge and agreement of the American Government; and if it is the policy of Her Majesty's Government to disclose such figures when buying foreign military aircraft.

The Secretary of State for Defence (Mr. Denis Healey)

Any official release of information about foreign military aircraft is made in accordance with the rules of the country concerned.

The general reference to Phantom capability included in my speech to the House on 9th February corresponds very closely with an official American news release on the same date.

Mr. Burden

Did the right hon. Gentleman consult with the American Government before he released those figures? If, as he says, the Americans released the details on the same date, it is surely right to ask whether he had received permission to release those figures beforehand.

Mr. Healey

Yes, Sir. Of course I received permission to do so.