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United States Navy (Facilities)

Volume 645: debated on Wednesday 26 July 1961

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asked the Minister of Defence if he will make a statement about additional facilities for the United States Navy in the United Kingdom.

Agreement has been reached with the United States Government to provide certain facilities in the United Kingdom in connection with the Distant Early Warning Line. A small communications station will be established by the United States Navy near Thurso to supplement the facilities already available at the United States station at Londonderry. In addition certain radar picket escort vessels will make use of existing naval facilities at Rosyth and commercial facilities on the Clyde.

Can the right hon. Gentleman say what this involves us in by way of provision facilities and financial obligations?

The financial obligations will be borne entirely by the Americans except for the provision of one small area of land. The other provisions which we shall make are largely docking and repair facilities and so on, for which, again, the United States will pay. This is actually, as I think the right hon. Gentleman knows, a radar warning system. It is against conventional aircraft, but it serves a useful purpose and fills a gap in the chain.