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North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

Volume 958: debated on Tuesday 21 November 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to correct the imbalance of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation conventional forces against Warsaw Pact forces in central Europe.

At the Washington NATO summit in May 1978, Heads of State and Government considered a long-term defence programme—LTDP—developed in order to ensure that the defensive capability of the North Atlantic Alliance would remain fully effective in the face of the continuing build-up in Warsaw Pact strength. They endorsed a wide range of measures designed to help adapt NATO's defence posture to meet the challenges of the 1980s. The United Kingdom has played a full and positive part in the LTDP and is reassessing its defence programme with a view to accommodating as many LTDP measures as possible.Moreover, we responded promptly to the call by NATO to aim for real increases in defence budgets of around 3 per cent. This has helped us to make a number of improvements to United Kingdom Forces including an increase in the planned size of the Army by 6,000 men.