§ Mr. Spellar
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the failure rate of small arms ammunition ordered by his Department from Portugal. 
§ Mr. Arbuthnot
The competition to supply the 7.62mm sniper ammunition for the National Rifle Association for use at its Bisley tournaments in 1995 and 1996 was won by INDEP of Portugal. Following representations from the association about the misfire rate of the ammunition, the Defence Test and Evaluation Organisation carried out extensive tests of the ammunition on standard service issue sniper rifles. No misfires occurred in these tests. It is therefore likely that the misfires reported by the association were a result of using the ammunition in non-standard weapons.