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Overseas Bases

Volume 654: debated on Wednesday 28 February 1962

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42.

asked the Minister of Defence how many United Kingdom bases overseas he proposes to close.

Our plans for the future are set out in some detail in the Statement on Defence, 1962 (Cmnd. 1639).

As the right hon. Gentleman proposes to save on either garrisons or bases—on which he differentiates—in the Mediterranean, and spend his savings in Aden and Singapore, does he now intend to build up Singapore even more strongly than before in order to carry out the policy—[Interruption.]—which the Prime Minister announced during his Commonwealth visit, when he said that we must retain Singapore because from there we should be prepared, if necessary, to go it alone?

I am glad to see that the hon. Gentleman has read at least part of the White Paper. I might, perhaps, suggest that he reads the second part again—about Singapore—before the defence debate, because he is not in line with it at all.