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North Atlantic Treaty

Volume 463: debated on Wednesday 13 April 1949

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asked the Minister of Defence what release of manpower from the Services and of arma- ments industries for productive work he anticipates as a result of the measures to be taken under Articles 3 and 9 of the North Atlantic Treaty.

It would be premature to attempt now to assess the effect of these Articles on the manpower requirements of the Services.

Has not the Minister seen the circular from his right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer urging upon him the need for economy and reduced expenditure, and cannot we expect some release of manpower as a result?

I have most certainly had that circular, but I still get requests from hon. Members to increase my expenditure in certain respects. If it were not for the signing of the Pact this country might well be faced with heavily increased expenditure. We cannot assess any economies until we have considered the matter further.