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Far East (Unified Command)

Volume 654: debated on Wednesday 28 February 1962

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43.

asked the Minister of Defence when he proposes to inaugurate a joint service command in the Far East; and from which Service the supreme commander will be appointed.

A unified command will be set up in the Far East as soon as practicable. No decision has yet been taken about appointing a commander-in-chief.

In view of the criticism there has been from Australia of this proposal, will my right hon. Friend give very careful consideration to the location of the headquarters?

I am very glad that my hon. Friend has asked this Question, because I can say that I have been in close consultation with my Australian and New Zealand opposite numbers about this particular proposal, and I think that they understand very well its advantages.