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Aero Engines (Sale)

Volume 115: debated on Thursday 7 May 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will hold an inquiry into the source of the letter dated 19 March to companies in the United Kingdom purporting to announce the suspension of tenders in relation to the sale of surplus aero engines by his Department.

The source of the letter is being investigated by the MOD Police.

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will place a copy of all correspondence sent by his Department to companies intending to tender for the surplus Palouste mark 102 aero engines relating to tender applications in the Library; and will he make a statement.

On 9 March 1987, MOD issued a tender inviting bids for a number of Palouste mark 102 and other aero engines which were surplus to requirements. Tenders were due for return by 23 April 1987.

Early in April, my officials learned that two potential tenderers had received a letter dated 19 March, purportedly from MOD, advising that the tender had been suspended. Those letters were passed to the MOD and handed over to the MOD police for investigation.

Officials then wrote to all those originally invited to tender to inform them that the sale would proceed as originally indicated except that to allow for any inconvenience suffered by those who had received the spurious letter dated 19 April, the date for return of tenders would be extended until 14 May 1987.

I have placed copies of the correspondence sent by MOD in the Library.