§ Mr. Paterson
To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many export contracts she estimates have been cancelled because of the withholding of export licences as a result of the ethical foreign policy; and if he will estimate the number of jobs lost in consequence. 
§ Mrs. Roche
[holding answer 18 May 1998]: Where an application for an export licence is refused, applicants do not routinely inform the Department whether such decisions have resulted in the cancellation of contracts. I am not therefore in a position to make the estimate requested. As my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary said when announcing the new export licence assessment criteria on 28 July 1997, Official Report, columns 26–29, we are committed to the maintenance of a strong defence industry which is a strategic part of our industrial base as well as our defence effort. Defence exports can also contribute to international stability by strengthening bilateral and collective defence relationships in accordance with the right of self-defence recognised by the UN Charter, but arms transfers must be managed responsibly, in particular so as to avoid their use for internal repression and international aggression.