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British Defence Industry Catalogue

Volume 621: debated on Wednesday 31 January 2001

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether there are any conditions attached to the release and distribution of the British Defence Equipment Catalogues published since 1980; and [HL470]Whether they believe that the intelligence agencies of all potential military opponents of the Government have copies of British Defence Equipment Catalogues published since 1980. [HL471]

The British Defence Industry Catalogue is a commercial publication containing only unclassified information that companies wish to publish about their products and capabilities. It is endorsed by the Defence Export Services Organisation as a valuable tool in promoting UK defence exports. The supply of any equipment or services described in the catalogue remains subject to normal export licensing requirements. Given the unclassified status of the catalogue, there is no reason for the Government to place any restrictions on its circulation. While it is possible that foreign intelligence organisations may acquire copies, publication of the information it contains, which is available also from other public sources such as company websites, has no implications for our national security.