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Air-to-Air Missile

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:31 pm on 3rd March 1992.

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Photo of Mr Tom King Mr Tom King The Secretary of State for Defence 3:31 pm, 3rd March 1992

I was careful—the hon. Gentleman will recognise this straight away—not myself to attribute claims to the number of jobs involved. It depends on how the companies handle the business and the number of subcontractors they use. The figure of 7,000 to which I referred was used by British Aerospace in the material that the company sent to a number of hon. Members in support of its case, saying that that would be the number of people involved in this country in the programme.

I cannot give specific figures for Hughes in Glenrothes —[Interruption.] Is it suggested that there is something wrong with investing in our armed forces? I do not know whether Opposition Members disapprove of the fact that we have been able to come forward with orders for new frigates, for new tanks, for a new helicopter with an anti-submarine capability, the Merlin, for the Royal Navy, with a new package for the Harrier, with an order for ALARM, the air-launched anti-radiation missile, and that we are giving our forces the resources and equipment that they need. Yes, they will be smaller, but they will be better equipped than ever in our history, and surely that is appropriate in an uncertain and unstable world.