HC Deb 17 July 1968 vol 768 cc1421-2
32. Mr. Howie

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what action the Services are taking to keep industry informed of the performance and reliability of equipment in the service with a view to improving it.

The Minister of Defence for Equipment (Mr. John Morris)

The Services fully appreciate the importance of feeding back promptly to industry information on the performance and reliability of equipment in service so that it may be improved; and so that new equipment under development and in production may benefit from experience in service. The best means of doing this are continually under review, in association with industry, and we are actively exploring the use of computers for processing the great volume of information involved. A very useful conference on the "Reliability of Service Equipment" was held in February this year and was attended by a wide cross-section of industry.

Mr. Howie

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his terse reply to my Question. However, I thought that I had made reference to computers. Can he say what use is being made of computers in dealing with this information?

Mr. Morris

I think that I can help my hon. Friend. We already have a computer in use at Woolwich to process information on the performance and reliability of Army equipment. I have seen it for myself. This is now being programmed to provide output data which will be available to industry through maintenance advisory groups, A similar service will be provided by a computer which is to be installed for the Air Force, and the Navy Department is making a study of the use of a computer for processing information of this kind.