HC Deb 12 April 1994 vol 241 c14
15. Dr. Lynne Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the jobs created as a result of the activities of the Defence Export Services Organisation since 1979.

Mr. Aitken

We estimate that at least 145,000 jobs in the defence sector are related to exports.

Dr. Jones

Is not it a disgrace that the Defence Export Services Organisation spent £16. million last year in promoting world instability? Would not more jobs be secured if that money, and other subsidies for arms manufacturers and support for the arms industry, were spent in helping them to diversify into civil manufacture?

Mr. Aitken

The hon. Lady seeks to condemn the Defence Export Services Organisation for spending £16 million and says that that creates instability. I assure her that she is completely and utterly wrong. As I said in an answer to an earlier question, last year our defence exporters aided by DESO managed to clock up the remarkable total of £6 billion of defence exports—a record-breaking figure. That creates jobs, prosperity and economic strength for this country and an overwhelming number of hon. Members on both sides of the House warmly welcome that success.