§ Lord Mulley
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether it is to be the general practice for companies who respond to the invitation of the Ministry of Defence to participate in competition for defence contracts to learn of the elimination of their bid through the press and not from the Ministry, as happened in the case of Firecracker Aircraft Ltd. in the competition for a basic trainer for the RAF.
§ Lord Trefgarne
No, my Lords. My right honourable friend the Minister of State for Defence Procurement informed honourable Members in another place in a Written Answer on 18th December of our decision about the basic trainer aircraft. In parallel that evening, a senior official of the Ministry of Defence telephoned representatives of all four companies, including the deputy chairman of Hunting Firecracker Aircraft Ltd. In each case, this was the first news which these representatives had of the decision. I informed noble Lords of the decision on 19th December in a Written Answer to my noble friend Lord Sandys.