§ Mr. McNamara
asked the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the answer of 8 May, Official Report, column 386, why, following the telephone call made by the Principal Director of Contracts (Air), to the group commercial director of British Aerospace on 13 March to inform him of the deadline date for the tender for the new Royal Air Force basic trainer, the Controller of Aircraft on 15 March telephoned the managing director of British Aerospace to confirm that the latter understood that the bid received by the relevant contracts branch of his Department before noon on 14 March was British Aerospace's final offer.
§ Mr. Butler
Controller Aircraft rang Sir Raymond Lygo, managing director of British Aerospace, to satisfy himself that Sir Raymond understood that the company's bid received before noon the previous day was indeed its final offer. In doing so he neither encouraged Sir Raymond to make a further bid nor gave any indication that a further offer from British Aerospace might be accepted by the Ministry of Defence.
British Aerospace did, however, submit later bids, but, although these narrowed the gap, they did not change the fact that the total acquisition cost would have been higher for the PC-9 than for the Tucano.