§ Mr. Wilkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will publish in theOfficial Report the text of the letter from the Chief of Defence Procurement of 23 August to the hon. Member for Ruislip-Northwood about the short-term strategic airlift programme. 
§ Mr. Kilfoyle
The text of the letter follows. In addition, the hon. Member may wish to refer to the answer given on 8 November 1999,Official Report, column 404, by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence to my hon. Friend the Member for Leyton and Wanstead (Mr. Cohen) which elaborates on the answer given in the Chief of Defence Procurement's letter of 23 August.
Letter from Sir Robert Walmsley to Mr. John Wilkinson, dated 23 August 1999:I am writing in response to your letter of 28 July to the Secretary of State for Defence about the Short Term Strategic Airlift programme. The matter falls to me for answer within my responsibility as the Chief of Defence Procurement and Chief Executive of the Defence Procurement Agency.You will no doubt be aware of the announcement made by Minister of State for Defence Procurement, that following a review of the tenders the Department concluded that none of the bids offered an acceptable solution at an affordable price. I attach a copy of the press release.My team is now exploring with industry other options that may satisfy our urgent need for additional airlift in the short-term. We will be reviewing a range of possibilities, including more assured spot charter of Antonov 124.