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Nato (Northern Army Group Commander)

Volume 654: debated on Wednesday 28 February 1962

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asked the Minister of Defence why General Sir James Cassels is to be replaced by a German general as Northern Army Group Commander, with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Will the Minister give the House a denial that this replacement will take place in a few months, because, I if it does take place, will it not automatically mean that this new general, will be in control of the B.A.O.R.?

The hon. Gentleman asked whether any proposals have been made to replace General Cassels with a German general. I have said that there have been no such proposals.

But will the Minister give the House an assurance that, should there be a replacement, as one imagines there will be, in due course, the general, whoever he may be, will be chosen on military and not on political grounds?

I hope that he will be chosen as the best man for the job, but I should also make it plain that the British Government will be fully consulted before any such proposal is made.