HC Deb 30 January 1980 vol 977 cc681-2W
Dr. Gilbert

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will identify the substance or substances used to substitute for sperm whale oil in the manufacture of the leather used in RAF pilots' flying gloves; and what are the cost differentials involved as compared with the original ingredients and the extent to which any difference in quality has been noted.

Mr. Pattie

The Ministry of Defence's requirements for RAF flying gloves and other gloves of high quality leather are met by means of competitive contracts. It is now Ministry practice to specify that substitute substances for sperm whale oil are to be used in the manufacture of the leather, but details of the nature of the substitutes, changes in manufacturing processes and make-up of prices are regarded as commercially confidential information and have not been disclosed to the Ministry.