§ Mr. Nicholas Winterton
asked the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons the Admiralty recently placed an order for woven glass fabric for thermal insulation with a United States weaving company operating in Belgium but importing its yarn from the United States; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Speed
The current difficulties in the textile industry are well understood. But it would not be consistent with the aim of getting the best value for money out of the defence budget for the Ministry of Defence to adopt a simple"Buy British" policy in all cases. Nor would that fit in with our European Community obligations.
Of the tenders received on this occasion the one from the Belgian supplier was cheaper than any of those from British suppliers.