John Questions Scottish Government on Arms

On the 22nd of May John posed two questions to the Scottish Government regarding its knowledge of armament manufacturers in Scotland and whether any Scottish Government money had ever been paid to such companies.

On the 16th of July the Scottish Government issued the reply to the first question below:

John Finnie (Highlands and Islands) (Independent): To ask the Scottish Government  whether it maintains details of companies based in Scotland that are involved in research into, development or manufacture of armaments.(S4W-15197)

Mr Fergus Ewing MSP:

The Scottish Government does not maintain a central list of companies based in Scotland involved in research into, development or manufacture of armaments. Similarly, our enterprise agencies, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Enterprise, do not maintain details of companies based in Scotland that are specifically involved in research into, development or manufacturing of armaments.”

The second question, also received 16th July,  was answered in a similar fashion:

John Finnie (Highlands and Islands) (Independent): To ask the Scottish Government  whether it provides funding to any company involved in the research, development or manufacture of arms in Scotland and, if so, what companies and how much. (S4W-15198)

Mr Fergus Ewing MSP:

I refer the member to the answer to question S4W-15197 on 16 July 2013, we do not maintain details of companies based in Scotland that are specifically involved in research into, development of or manufacturing of armaments.”

Commenting on the answers John said:

“I find it completely staggeringly that the Scottish Government admits that it does not know whether or not any public funds it controls have ever been given to companies involved in the research, development or manufacture of arms in Scotland.

“At a time when public spending is under increasing scrutiny and pressure for the Scottish Government to admit it does not know whether or not it has given public money to armaments companies beggars belief. I would ask that the Scottish Government keep better records on those in receipt of public money so that the public are clear on where their money is going.”