§ Lord Sandys
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Following the reply given by Lord Trefgarne on 8th May (col. 653), whether they will make a further statement on the exchange of telephone calls between the Group Commercial Director of British Aerospace and the Principal Director of Contracts (Air) on 13th March concerning the new trainer aircraft for the Royal Air Force.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Armed Forces (Lord Trefgarne)
I am aware that the Group Commercial Director of British Aerospace, Mr. Alan Smith, denies that in the telephone call made to him by the Ministry of Defence's Principal Director of Contracts (Air) on 13th March, he was told that an end-point of midday on 14th March had been set for improved offers in respect of the new trainer aircraft for the Royal Air Force.
The Government regret that such a misunderstanding should have arisen. This matter has been fully discussed in a de-briefing given to British Aerospace by the Ministry of Defence on the competition. While each side maintains its position on what was said during the telephone call, both now regard the matter as closed.