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Volume 928: debated on Friday 25 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list those NATO countries that have announced their intention to increase their defence expenditure for the financial year 1977–78 or calendar year 1977 and those that have announced a decrease.

The United States, Norway, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, West Germany and the United Kingdom have announced increases in defence expenditure in terms of current prices; no NATO country has announced a decrease. In real terms there will be an increase in the cases of the first three countries named and a decrease in the case of the United Kingdom. The position in the other countries named is less clear since we do not know what allowance they have made for inflation, but we would expect a decrease in real terms in the case of West Germany.