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Walter Somers Ltd

Volume 201: debated on Friday 20 December 1991

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will now state the dates on which the two telephone conversations between Walter Somers Ltd. and his Department's metallurgical expert took place; what was established by the conversations; what advice was provided by his Department's expert to Walter Somers Ltd.; and how the expert identified himself or herself to Walter Somers Ltd.

The telephone conversations took place on 16 and 22 June 1988. On the basis of the available information they established that the steel tubes which Walter Somers Ltd. proposed to export to Iraq were almost certainly pressure vessels of some kind whose function was unclear. No advice was provided to Walter Somers Ltd. by the Department's expert. At this distance in time it is not possible to say how the expert identified himself to Walter Somers Ltd. other than be name, though his normal practice was to indicate that he worked for the Ministry of Defence.