§ Mr. Eldon Griffiths
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the Government's policy on the disposal of surplus Service small arms.
§ Mr. Pattie
It has been decided that small arms which are surplus to Service requirement will in future be scrapped unless, exceptionally, a sale can be arranged to another Government Department. The very limited sales previously made to approved overseas Governments will cease and the concession under which non-automatic small arms surplus to Service requirements could be sold to registered firearms dealers, provided they were converted to sporting use and exported, will now be withdrawn. This more restrictive policy has been adopted because of the significant number of weapons likely to be declared surplus in the years ahead and the increase in terrorist activity over the last decade.