§ Harry Cohen
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what date his Department was informed of the purchase in early 2003 by BAE Systems UK from Israel Military Industries of 26,000 155 mm L20 cluster artillery shells; whether the order was made at the behest of his Department; what his Department's response was in respect of this proposed purchase; on what date a Minister was first notified of this proposed purchase and what his response was; on what date his Department purchased these cluster shells from BAE Systems and at what cost; for what reason his Department purchased these cluster shells from BAE Systems rather than from Israeli Military Systems directly; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Ingram
A contract was let with BAE Systems on 7 November 2002 by the Defence General Munitions Integrated Project Team (DGM IPT). Deliveries from that contract were made in March, May, June and July 2003. I am withholding details of the cost of these munitions in accordance with Exemption 7 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information as it is classified Commercial in Confidence. It is normal practice under the Framework Partnering Agreement with the Royal Ordnance Defence division of BAE Systems for the DGM IPT to use the company as a Prime Contractor whenever it is cost effective and adds value to do so. In this case, these requirements were met since BAE Systems were able to negotiate favourable rates for the shell.