asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement about Millbank Technical Services.
Millbank Technical Services Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Crown Agents which was set up in 1967 to enable the Crown Agents to offer a number of associated services outside their traditional agency rôle. As with other subsidiaries of the Crown Agents, sponsorship has hitherto rested with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Overseas Development. With the passage of time, this company has come to provide most of its services in the field of defence exports; and it has therefore been decided, with the approval of the Prime Minister, that I shall assume the responsibility for the defence activities of MTS from 1st April 1977 while my right hon. Friend remains responsible through the Crown Agents for its non-defence activities. I will ensure that an appropriate Sub-head is opened in Defence Estimates as soon as possible to provide for any contingent liability which I will be assuming with effect from 1st April 1977.