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Volume 958: debated on Tuesday 21 November 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the latest estimate of the annual world military expenditure; and what is the latest annual military expenditure of the United Kingdom.

I cannot give an authoritative figure for total world military expenditure, since reliable data on a comparable basis are lacking. The latest edition of "The Military Balance", published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, suggests a total of about 410 billion US dollars for 64 countries in 1977, and the work of other analysts tends to support this as a reasonable blobal estimated. United Kingdom defence expenditure in 1977–78 was £6,787 million or 11½7 billion US dollars at the exchange rates used by the IISS.


asked the Secretary of State for Defence by how much in real terms spending on defence has increased or decreased since 1973.

The Defence budget for the current financial year is 8.7 per cent. lower in real terms than that for 1973–74.