Jaguar Aircraft

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20th April 1972.

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Photo of Mr Kenneth Warren Mr Kenneth Warren , Hastings 12:00 am, 20th April 1972

asked the Minister of State for Defence what representations he has received from the French Government regarding alterations to the numbers of Anglo-French Jaguar aircraft required by the French Navy; and if he will give an assurance that there will be no change in the volume and value of the work allocated to Great Britain in this programme.

Photo of Mr Ian Gilmour Mr Ian Gilmour , Norfolk Central

The French Government have made no such representations.

Photo of Mr Kenneth Warren Mr Kenneth Warren , Hastings

Has my hon. Friend's attention been drawn to the widespread publicity given in the French and British technical Press to impending cancellations of this French naval order? In view of the disquiet which this has aroused, will he approach the French Government and ask them to make a formal public declaration of their continued support for the order?

Photo of Mr Ian Gilmour Mr Ian Gilmour , Norfolk Central

There is no doubt about the French Government's general support for the Jaguar order. However, the exact number they require is a matter for them. I remind my hon. Friend that production arrangements for the Jaguar are aimed at ensuring that work is shared in proportion to requirements. If, therefore, French requirements were significantly reduced, steps would be taken to correct the balance of work.

Photo of Mr Tam Dalyell Mr Tam Dalyell , West Lothian

How is the Department now defining the word "representa- tions"? Is it excluding such things as letters and talks with officials?

Photo of Mr Ian Gilmour Mr Ian Gilmour , Norfolk Central

No. My hon. Friend asked me what representations had been received from the French Government and I replied "None".

Photo of Rear-Admiral Morgan Morgan-Giles Rear-Admiral Morgan Morgan-Giles , Winchester

Is it not ironic that British factories should be manufacturing fixed-wing aircraft for the French Navy, but none for the Royal Navy?

Photo of Mr Ian Gilmour Mr Ian Gilmour , Norfolk Central

I do not think so, no.