HC Deb 04 December 1956 vol 561 c1024
9. Mr. Healey

asked the Secretary of State for War what steps he has taken to ensure for the future that military equipment provided to the British Army by the United States Government for use within the framework of the North Atlantic Treaty is not diverted to other purposes.

Mr. Hare

Normally we do not need to guard against diversion of Mutual Defence Aid equipment without the consent of the United States Government, and the recent emergency, in which Army units, some of which possessed such equipment, had to be moved at short notice to the Middle East, was exceptional and unforeseen.

Mr. Healey

Will the Secretary of State in future use his influence with his colleagues to ensure that when Her Majesty's Government are contemplating hostilities outside the framework of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the American Government are informed?

Mr. Hare

I think that that is another question.

Mr. Strachey

Would the Secretary of State and the Government as a whole make up their minds either to refuse American equipment and not consult America about our operations, or to accept American equipment and consult America about our operations? It must be one or the other.

Mr. Hare

I think that the right hon. Gentleman is trying to whip up a lot of political enthusiasm.

Viscount Hinchingbrooke

If we are not able to use American equipment where we want it, would it not be better to do without it altogether?