HC Deb 13 July 1959 vol 609 cc28-9
41. Mr. Wigg

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he will state the number of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops in West Berlin on 27th February, 1958, and on 9th July, 1959; and to what extent these troops are armed with weapons other than personal and light support weapons.

Mr. Profumo

The Allied Forces in West Berlin are not under North Atlantic Treaty Organisation command. They are there as garrisons of the three Western Powers for the purpose of safeguarding the freedom of the inhabitants of West Berlin. The British garrison consists approximately of one brigade group, and this was also the case in February, 1958. It is equipped with the normal equipment.

Mr. Wigg

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his reply. Is he aware that it is now established beyond any shadow of doubt that those troops are of a symbolic character and that the only military duties which they can be called upon to perform are duties in aid of a civil power and that they are incapable—at present, or at any time in the past or, so far as one can see, in the future—of carrying out operations requiring the use of tactical atomic weapons?

Mr. Profumo

That is so.

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