§ Mr. McWilliam
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what contact there has been between Ministers or civil servants and Royal Ordnance or BAE regarding the setting up of a joint company or other arrangement involving GIAT of France; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Arbuthnot
My Department has been kept informed about a possible joint venture between Royal Ordnance and GIAT, and the progress of discussions. Such exchanges are in confidence. Any firm proposals which arose would be subject to the approval of the regulatory authorities in the usual way.