Is my hon. Friend aware that between 1962 and 1971 529 military aircraft were destroyed or severely damaged and that 440 RAF aircrew lost their lives? Does he consider that the accident rate is now of such an order that continuing official secrecy is doing more harm than frankness? Will he also tell the House whether flight data recorders are being installed in front line military aicraft.
I think my hon. Friend is being a little pessimistic. It is true that there was a small upward movement last year, but over the years there has been a downward trend in accidents. No Defence Minister could possibly be satisfied as long as there are accidents. Everything possible is being done to minimise them. My hon. Friend's point about flight data recorders is another matter.