asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will make a statement about the implications for International Military Services Ltd. of his policy for the Royal ordnance factories.
Following my right hon. Friend's announcement on the future status of the Royal ordnance factories—[Vol. 24, c. 151]—consideration is now being given to the size and shape of the new sales and marketing organisation for the Royal ordnance factories. Meanwhile International Military Services is continuing with its present role in the overseas sales of Royal ordnance factories and other products and, as its own marketing and sales capability develops, the Royal ordnance factories will still be able to use International Military Services like any other British company, particularly in the co-ordination of training, equipment and infrastructure packages.In the past three years, International Military Services has diversified its overseas sales activities and has a substantial current order book in a wide range of customer countries, with an increasing share of its business from the private rather than the public sector. Its latest published accounts show a steady improvement in its financial position over the same period. This is a credit to the company's staff, who have adapted readily to changing circumstances. We are confident that International Military Services will have an important role to play in assisting the sale overseas of British military equipment for the foreseeable future.