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Nato (Expenditure)

Volume 932: debated on Tuesday 24 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will resist the pressure to increase expenditure on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

NATO Ministers have agreed that the adverse trends in the NATO-Warsaw Pact military balance, and the need to avoid a continued deterioration in the relative force capabilities, require the Alliance to aim at an annual increase in defence expenditure in real terms in the region of 3 per cent. for the period 1979–84, though it was recognised that for some individual countries economic circumstances will affect what can be achieved. Decisions on United Kingdom defence spending for 1979–80 onwards will be taken in this year's public expenditure survey. I cannot anticipate the outcome.