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Commonwealth Defence Contributions

Volume 499: debated on Wednesday 30 April 1952

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies upon what basis and by which Colonies a Commonwealth defence contribution is paid.

Colonial territories make their main contribution towards Commonwealth defence by maintaining local forces adequate to ensure internal security and local defence, and in some cases by providing lands and services for United Kingdom Forces. This absorbs, or more than absorbs, all the funds which most territories can provide for defence, having regard to their other commitments.

When a territory is financially able to meet these obligations and also make a contribution towards the general Commonwealth defence expenditure borne by the United Kingdom, the amount of the contribution is arrived at by discussion between the colonial Government and Her Majesty's Government. Bermuda and Hong Kong make such contributions.