HC Deb 15 October 1991 vol 196 c142
10. Dr. Michael Clark

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what future plans there are for the proof and experimental establishment ranges at Foulness island.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence Procurement (Mr. Kenneth Carlisle)

A review to assess the future of the proof and experimental establishments is in hand. It is too early to comment on the outcome of this review. We expect to make a decision in the first part of next year.

Dr. Clark

Is my hon. Friend aware of the long history of service of the Foulness Rangers in testing artillery equipment? Will he accept, therefore, that their considerable experience should be borne in mind, especially at this time when defence needs are being reviewed?

Mr. Carlisle

I certainly recognise the valuable work undertaken at Foulness. I also pay tribute to the support that my hon. Friend has always given to the establishment. However, there is overcapacity at our seven proof and experimental establishments. We have, therefore, to address that and to have a review. We hope to resolve the uncertainty as soon as possible.

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