asked the Minister of State for Defence how many senior civil servants have left his Department since 3 May 1979 to take up jobs in firms in industry which have some form of contractual relationship with his Department.
cautiously, and to consider their needs and their resources very carefully before making or accepting any particular proposals. They indicated that they looked to the United Kingdom as a major supplier in the future; and they explained to me the steps they are taking to set their economy on a sound basis and, within an overall programme, to establish their priorities on the supply of defence equipment and to improve their information on what is available. I welcomed this, and I explained the ability, and will, of British firms to supply what the Chinese need, as was also demonstrated by the exhibition in Shanghai which has been very successfully mounted by the Society of British Aerospace Companies. I did not go to negotiate any specific contracts, but I am confident that the understandings I reached laid the best possible foundation for the further development of trade.