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Minister Of Defence (Statement)

Volume 527: debated on Thursday 13 May 1954

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45.

asked the Prime Minister if the recent statement made by Field Marshal Alexander at Copenhagen regarding the conduct of operations in a possible future war involving Great Britain represents the policy of Her Majesty's Government.

My noble and gallant Friend made no statement of policy whilst in Copenhagen. In private conversations he referred to what might happen in a possible future war—in a spirit which should command agreement and certainly spread confidence.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a report of this statement which appeared in the "Scotsman" said that this country would bear the heaviest atomic attack in the event of war with Russia, that this country would be knocked out, and would be liberated by Canada and the other Dominions? Is that the sort of thing which inspires confidence in the civilian population in this country?

My noble Friend was indicating that even if the worst that people imagine were to come to pass, we should not give in.

Can the Prime Minister tell us whether a report is to be made to Parliament of a meeting this week between the Danish Minister of Defence and the Minister of Defence of Her Majesty's Government?