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British Forces, Germany

Volume 648: debated on Wednesday 8 November 1961

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asked the Minister of Defence to what extent the cost of maintaining British forces in Germany will increase during the coming year.

Does that take into account the application which the right hon. Gentleman has made to the N.A.T.O. assistance board for a supplementary grant, and does not the fact of this application having been made show that we have bitten off more than we can chew? Large bites without teeth seem to be a permanent feature of our defence policy.

I do not think I follow the hon. Member's views of our defence policy. I would only say that after a fair and impartial examination NA.T.O. has accepted what is true, and that is, that we play our full part in the alliance and that it is a very heavy burden on our foreign exchange.


asked the Minister of Defence if he will now withdraw British forces from Western Germany, in view of the refusal of Britain's allies to begin negotiations with a view to coming to a reasonable settlement of the Berlin crisis.

I do not accept the implication in the second part of the hon. Member's Question. The answer to the first part is "No, Sir."

Is it not a fact that the West German Government refuse to accept any recognition of Eastern Germany or of the Polish frontier or any form of disengagement, or to change the status quoin West Berlin? Are we really to be dragged into war by allies who do not agree with us on how to make peace?

I do not accept what the hon. Gentleman says. In any case, that type of question should be put down to the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, not to me.