§ 42. Mr. McLoughlin
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made in Anglo-French reciprocal purchasing of defence equipment.
§ Mr. Sainsbury
Progress on this initiative, aimed at increasing co-operation to avoid the costly and wasteful duplication of development effort in conventional defence equipment, has been good. A framework of practical measures, including the publication of contracts bulletins in both countries, has now been established. In addition, there have been three equipment conferences, on land, sea and air10 systems to discuss possible areas of co-operation. These were well attended by industry and Government from both countries. Some contracts have already been signed and more tenders are under consideration on both sides of the Channel.