asked the Lord Privy Seal whether Her Majesty's Government's representative on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Council of Ministers has informed that body of United Kingdom intentions to reduce British forces in Europe.
No statements on this subject have been made this year by Her Majesty's representative to the North Atlantic Council.
Presumably the Minister is aware of what his right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor said about this matter and the need for reducing our military forces overseas. If anything is done in Europe, will it be on grounds of economy, or are the troops to be withdrawn to Kuwait?
No, Sir my right hon. and learned Friend made the point that the burden of keeping forces overseas is very great and that some way must be found of dealing with the problem. It may be that in Europe a fairer sharing of the cost could be reached.
Does that mean that troops are likely to be withdrawn from Europe?
No, Sir. No decisions have been taken on this matter. My right hon. and learned Friend was making a very general point.
Do those answers mean that Her Majesty's Government are considering reducing our present commitment in Germany, which is already less than we undertook to keep there? Are we reconsidering the number of troops there?
No, Sir; I did not say that. I said that my right hon. and learned Friend's statement referred to all our forces overseas.