§ Mr. Sproat
asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many Soviet aircraft have been intercepted and turned back while attempting to enter British airspace during the last 12 months; and how many were in the area of the North-East of Scotland.
§ Mr. John
We reserve the right to intercept and identify aircraft approaching the United Kingdom without adequate flight plan clearance, but it would be contrary to normal practice and against the public interest to provide statistics of such interceptions. Providing the aircraft concerned are in international airspace the question of turning them back does not arise.