CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

DEFENCE – VINDICATION OF THE CHINOOK PILOTS – 13 July 2011

Dr Julian Lewis: Does the Secretary of State agree that this is a modern day version of the famous Archer-Shee case, which involved the Royal Navy and the theft of a postal order, and which became the basis of a famous play in which the service would not admit that it was wrong? Will he add to his list of people who should be thanked the right hon. Lord Chalfont, who more than a decade ago instituted a debate that focused on the very point that the Secretary of State has emphasised today? Finally, does he share my regret that some close family members of the pilots are no longer alive to get the vindication that they deserved more than a decade ago?

[The Secretary of State for Defence (Dr Liam Fox): This may well be a modern version of “The Winslow Boy”. It is not the size of the injustice that matters, but the fact that it is an injustice. I commend Lord Chalfont for what he did on this matter, just as I thank many colleagues in the other place who have done so much to keep this case alive.]