HC Deb 15 February 1956 vol 548 cc2345-6
37. Lieut-Colonel Lipton

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs by what agreement the Federal German Government are obliged to contribute to the cost of British forces in Germany after May, 1956.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

The Federal German Government agreed, by the terms of the amended Bonn Finance Convention, to negotiate with other member Governments of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, who have forces stationed in the Federal territory, in respect of questions relating to the support after May, 1956, of those forces.

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Is it not clear from that answer that the Federal German Government are under no real obligation to contribute a penny towards the cost of British troops in Germany; that as a result the Chancellor finds himself£70 million out of pocket after having been thoroughly outsmarted by the Federal Government when he was Foreign Secretary, and that the British taxpayer has been swindled as well?

Mr. Lloyd

The hon. and gallant Member is quite wrong; under the Convention, in accordance with Article III of the North Atlantic Treaty, the Federal Government agreed that they would negotiate with other members of N.A.T.O. about the support of forces in Germany and, as has been stated already, it is the whole spirit of the N.A.T.O. alliance that there should be fair sharing of burdens. That is the position.