Stansted Fluid Power
20 September 1985
Further to your visit to Stansted with Tommy Dick on 29 August last, and the letter to Mrs. Laurie, 10 September; I now had a second visit from the Customs and Excise, this time accompanied by a representative of the MOD. It would appear that the newspaper report of 30 March was not just journalistic sensationalism, but was, in fact a valid account of what "Special Materials Experts" in our MOD released to the press regarding the potential use of "carbon-carbon" composite.
Experts amongst the delegates who visited Stansted on 19 September even explained to me, in detail, what trajectorial advantages would be in being able to produce nose cones for rockets missiles in this material in the size, and on the scale which they believe these presses and associated equipment could manufacture. Moreover, in hindsight and on reflection it would seem more creditable that USSR would spend eight million pounds on plant for the purposes now suggested by the MOD, rather than any other likely use which has been mentioned in the course of general conversation. You will be aware I have never inquired in any depth, or detail, into end product, and I make it a rule always to avoid so doing when selling equipment, because firstly, curiosity on my part would arouse anxiety about industrial security; secondly, the customer technology is often beyond me; and thirdly, I am not interested to know more than is necessary to do my job in most cases.
However, in my present circumstances I seem to have landed in a hornets' nest, and feel I am bound to connect the recent official visits to me at Stansted (being the first ever) with the visit of you and Tommy to Stansted on the 29th. This itself is a cause of great concern to me and, I would have thought to you and Tommy also. In the circumstances I consider that BEPA is effectively blocked by the Customs and Excise and MOD from allowing Paul and/or myself to go out to commission and consult on this project.
Owing to the unclearness of the situation all further correspondence will be dealt with by my solicitor, James JW Wallace-Jarvis.