asked the Minister of Defence whether he will make a statement, consequent upon his conversations in the United States of America, on the future of the.280 rifle.
As was indicated in the Communiqué which was issued after my talks in Washington on 9th January, neither we nor the United States consider it wise to take the important step of changing our rifles at the present time, and we shall both continue to rely upon rifles and ammunition which are now in stock or are being produced. Both countries will produce new rifles and ammunition on an experimental scale only, and this will apply to the production of the.280 rifle in the United Kingdom. Every effort will be made to produce a standard rifle and ammunition for all N.A.T.O. countries.
Does that mean that Her Majesty's Government have now abandoned the hope of persuading the Americans that our rifle is better than theirs?
I see no prospect of carrying out that process of conversion.