HC Deb 13 June 1956 vol 554 cc38-9W
Dr. Broughton

asked the Minister of Defence how many officials of the West German Ministry of Defence are in the United Kingdom at his invitation for the purpose of evaluating British military aircraft; why the invitation was sent; when they arrived; when they are expected to depart; what facilities are being granted them for the examination of aircraft; and in which types of aircraft of the Royal Air Force they are permitted to fly.

Mr. Maudling

I have been asked to reply. Two officials of the Federal German Ministry of Defence have been in the United Kingdom since 29th May to evaluate aircraft, at the invitation of the Hawker Aircraft Co. and of Hunting Percival Aircraft, with the full approval of Her Majesty's Government. As explained by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Defence, in answer to the right hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Shinwell) on 6th June, it is the policy of Her Majesty's Government to assist Western Germany to equip the forces which it has been agreed that she should contribute to North Atlantic defence, and to this end, to encourage sales of British arms and equipment on a commercial basis.

The officials will be staying for about a fortnight. The aircraft which they have been evaluating and, as necessary, flying at the companies' airfields are the Hawker Hunter Mark 6, Hawker Two-seater Hunter Mark 7, the Gloster Javelin Marks 4 and 7, the Hunting Percival Provost jet trainer, and the Hunting Percival Pembroke Transport.

At the invitation of the Air Ministry, one of the officials has spent two days with R.A.F. Fighter Command studying the organisation and methods of air defence, and the other has spent two days with R.A.F. Flying Training Command, making a similar study in the flying training field.

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