§ 36. Mr. Bellenger
asked the Minister of Defence what progress has been made in the Government's study of defence organisation occasioned by the strategical and tactical implications of the use of nuclear weapons in warfare.
§ Mr. Selwyn Lloyd
These matters are under continuous study. I do not think that a further statement can usefully be made at present.
§ Mr. Bellenger
Was not the House promised during the Service Estimates debates that there would be some indication from the Government in May as to their policy, and has the right hon. and learned Gentleman taken notice of the exercise "Carte Blanche" which has just been completed in Germany, which dis- 391 closes that very serious and almost revolutionary changes will be necessary in tactics? When are we likely to hear from the Government about changes in Service strategy and tactics?
§ Mr. de Freitas
Will that statement include reference to the Civil Defence side, or must we have another statement from the Government on that aspect through the Home Secretary?
§ Mr. Lloyd
I am not saying that a statement will be made. I am saying that if a statement can usefully be made, it will be, and if it is one on the whole question of the defence organisation, as affected by the implications set out in the Question, obviously it must include the matter to which the right hon. Gentleman has referred.
§ Mr. Shinwell
May I ask the right hon. and learned Gentleman if he is aware that Field Marshal Montgomery made a recent public speech—[An HON. MEMBER: "He is always making speeches."] Why not, if he wants to? He is as much entitled to make a speech as anybody here. That is my opinion, anyhow. Did not Field Marshal Montgomery make a speech in the course of which he indicated that many changes are required in the defence system of the West? May I ask the right hon. and learned Gentleman whether any submissions of that kind have been made to N.A.T.O.? If so, could the public be informed? Is it not time that we were enlightened about these matters?
§ Mr. Strachey
Would the Minister of Defence take into account not only the defence exercises in Europe but also the civil defence exercises which have just taken place in the United States, and the negative conclusions which have been reached as to the possibility of civil defence?