§ The Minister of State for Defence Procurement (Lord Trefgarne)
My Lords, I wish to make a personal statement.
During Question Time last Friday, and in answer to a supplementary question from the noble Lord, Lord Mayhew, I rejected the noble Lord's assertion that there had been a decline in real terms defence expenditure since 1985. I was, I fear, mistaken. While defence expenditure has indeed grown in real terms since 1979, there was a decline in the years immediately following 1985–8 which I should have acknowleded, and I apologise for not doing so.