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Us Strategic Air Command, United Kingdom

Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 14 March 1951

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asked the Secretary of State for Air how many units of the United States Strategic Bomber Command are now stationed in the United Kingdom.

Units of the United States Strategic Air Command at present located in this country comprise a medium bomber group, an escort fighter group, two strategic reconnaissance squadrons all with maintenance and supply backing and a small number of ground detachments.

Has the constitutional position of the presence in this country of units of this Command been looked into, seeing that it comes directly under the orders of the President of the United States and is not part of the Atlantic Treaty Organisation and does not appear to be part of any force over which there is any command or jurisdiction exercised by this country?

I do not think there is any constitutional difficulty whatever. These units are here with the approval, I believe, of the great majority of the people in this country and I think it would be a great pity to confuse the issue by suggesting that there is some constitutional difficulty.

Has it not been a practice over many years for this country freely to invite units of any Allied country to be stationed here under its own discretion?