§ Ms Rachel Squire
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy to encourage defence diversification.
§ Mr. Aitken
The Government's policy is that decisions on how to adapt to changing market circumstances, and what products to make, are for the commercial judgment of companies.
The Department of Trade and Industry provides advice and assistance to companies who may be considering diversification, including a recently published handbook called "Changing Tack". That Department, together with the Department of Employment, also administers the United Kingdom participation in the EC Konver programme, which is designed to assist regions affected by the decline in the armaments industry and the closure of military bases.