HC Deb 20 April 1972 vol 835 cc737-8
20. Mr. Warren

asked the Minister of State for Defence what representations he has received from the French Government regarding alterations to the numbers of Anglo-French Jaguar aircraft required by the French Navy; and if he will give an assurance that there will be no change in the volume and value of the work allocated to Great Britain in this programme.

Mr. Ian Gilmour

The French Government have made no such representations.

Mr. Warren

Has my hon. Friend's attention been drawn to the widespread publicity given in the French and British technical Press to impending cancellations of this French naval order? In view of the disquiet which this has aroused, will he approach the French Government and ask them to make a formal public declaration of their continued support for the order?

Mr. Gilmour

There is no doubt about the French Government's general support for the Jaguar order. However, the exact number they require is a matter for them. I remind my hon. Friend that production arrangements for the Jaguar are aimed at ensuring that work is shared in proportion to requirements. If, therefore, French requirements were significantly reduced, steps would be taken to correct the balance of work.

Mr. Dalyell

How is the Department now defining the word "representa- tions"? Is it excluding such things as letters and talks with officials?

Mr. Gilmour

No. My hon. Friend asked me what representations had been received from the French Government and I replied "None".

Rear-Admiral Morgan-Giles

Is it not ironic that British factories should be manufacturing fixed-wing aircraft for the French Navy, but none for the Royal Navy?

Mr. Gilmour

I do not think so, no.

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