§ Mr. Atkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the outcome of the recent COCOM meeting.
§ Mr. Waldegrave
The COCOM executive committee met on 14 and 15 February. It noted that the political and military environment for which the COCOM controls were devised is changing, and agreed to adapt COCOM's procedures and to accelerate streamlining of the controls, particularly in the sectors of machine tools, telecommunications and computers.
The executive committee agreed that the time limits for consideration of cases submitted to COCOM should be reduced from 12 weeks to eight weeks; that working groups should prepare recommendations for liberalisation of the controls on machine tools, telecommunications and computers to be ready by the next COCOM policy meeting in June 1990; that that meeting would consider further priority sectors for changes to the controls; and that, separately, considerations would be given to whether relaxation could be introduced in return for reassurances against the diversion of strategically sensitive goods and technologies.