HC Deb 23 February 1955 vol 537 cc1251-2
6. Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

asked the Minister of Defence the estimated yearly cost in foreign exchange, of maintaining four British divisions and the Second Tactical Air Force in Germany.

Mr. H. Macmillan

About £70 million to £80 million in a full year.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

In view of the continued weakness of sterling on foreign exchanges, will the right hon. Gentleman keep to a minimum this expenditure which entails a burden of many more millions on the British taxpayer?

Mr. Macmillan

We shall do everything to effect all possible economies.

12. Mr. E. Fletcher

asked the Minister of Defence the estimated additional local cost of maintaining our forces in Germany for 1955–56 and 1956–57, respectively, compared with the cost in 1954–55, based on the assumption that the Paris treaties will be ratified.

Mr. H. Macmillan

I would refer the hon. Member to the note on financial arrangements contained in Command Paper No. 9304. The precise answer to his Question depends both on the date of ratification of the Paris Agreements and on the outcome of future negotiations with the Government of the Federal German Republic.

Mr. Fletcher

May we take it from that reply that steps will be taken by the Government to reduce this additional cost from the figures indicated in the financial note?

Mr. Macmillan

Yes. I tried to explain in the debate some of the methods which we will try to follow.