HC Deb 17 July 1968 vol 768 cc1422-3
35. Mr. Blenkinsop

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will now make a statement about the co-operation of military personnel in civil projects at home and abroad.

Mr. Boyden

As I said in answer to a Question on 12th June, consultations outside the Ministry of Defence are proceeding satisfactorily. I would not wish to go further until these consultations have been completed.

Mr. Blenkinsop

I welcome that Answer. However, what hopes has my hon. Friend of making an early statement on this subject, for there is a great deal of interest and a great deal of anxiety that there should be no unnecessary hold-up in this very exciting project?

Mr. Boyden

There is no unnecessary hold up and nobody should be anxious. I cannot make a statement before the Recess, but I expect that statement and the resulting action to be non-controversial and well received.

Mr. Ramsden

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that it was said, rather surprisingly, by the C.G.S. on television the other night that there were 300 contractors engaged in Scotland and a comparable number in England? Can he confirm that?

Mr. Boyden

It is not as many as 300, but a considerable number of activities of all sorts have been and are being undertaken. The difficulty is that they vary from very small to very big things. If the House will give me a little longer, I hope to be able to make a satisfactory statement.