HC Deb 07 December 1965 vol 722 cc230-1
36. Sir H. Legge-Bourke

asked the Minister of Technology how many times his Department, as sponsor for the industry concerned, has intervened in the placing of orders by other Departments; what were the cost, nature and other Departments concerned in each case; and what are the circumstances in which, after his approval has been given, implementation is still dependent upon Treasury approval of the necessary expenditure.

Mr. Cousins

The details of the consultations between my Department, the purchasing Departments and the Treasury are confidential to the Government and it would be contrary to well-established practice to give information of the kind requested.

Sir H. Legge-Bourke

Even if the right hon. Gentleman cannot give me the number of times when the Treasury has interfered, surely he can answer the other half of the Question which is of considerable concern, as to how much he has been brought into consultation, and what the projects were?

Mr. Cousins

I am sorry, but it is not proper for the hon. Gentleman to say "even if I cannot give an answer on the number of times the Treasury has interfered". This is not the purpose of the Treasury. The purpose of the Treasury is to examine costings, and to discuss them with other Ministries in order to reach satisfactory conclusions.