asked the Minister of Defence to what extent the application of Her Majesty's Government to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation for a certificate of need will cause a modification of defence policy.
The application of Her Majesty's Government was made under Protocol II Article VI of the revised Brussels Treaty and does not necessarily involve any modification of British defence policy.
Is it not the case that in addition to this application, in order to keep the economy ticking over we had to apply in about June of last year to the Central European banks for aid, and also had to get £700 million from the International Monetary Fund? That being so, how does the right hon. Gentleman look forward to meeting this enormous increase of £70 million on defence for the current year? Does he propose to run the financial side of defence on pay pauses?
As to the general question of defence policy, the hon. Gentleman will no doubt have his chance next week—
I hope so.
and I think that it might be better to leave it over until then.
That is not an answer.