§ 15. Mr. John Watkinson
asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he remains satisfied with the performance of the Chieftain tank.
§ Mr. Watkinson
Will my hon. Friend reconsider the answer given by his right hon. Friend earlier and enlarge upon the question whether the Chobham armour was given away free to our allies? Will be also say whether British tank gun technology will be given a fair opportunity to prove itself in the trials for the new American and German tanks?
§ Mr. Brown
The information on the Chobham armour was given to two allies, as is customary in an alliance. As for British tank units, I would say that the 120mm Chieftain gun is the finest tank gun in the world, and we have no intention of replacing it on the Chieftain. But in the gun trials in America this year we shall certainly have every opportunity to get in on the new weapons.
§ Mr. Onslow
Will the Minister do the House the courtesy of reminding the hon. Member for Rother Valley (Mr. Hardy) that if he had been in the Chamber when this matter came up earlier he would have heard it explained that the first exchange was in 1965 and the second in 1968? Will the hon. Gentleman give the House the assurance that he wishes to see full and fair competition, which gives us the best possible chance of keeping in this tank business, with our excellent capabilities?