8. Mr. Fernyhongh
asked the Minister of Defence by how much defence expenditure will increase as a result of the new status of the forces agreement recently signed between the Federal German Republic and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries with troops in Germany.
§ Mr. Fernyhough
Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether this is the extent of the commitment? Can he further say 381 whether, as a result of this new agreement, Britain's forces serving in Germany will not be at less advantage than are the American forces serving in Britain?
§ Mr. Watkinson
I think that the answer to the second part of the question is that this is true; they will not be at less advantage. The hon. Member asked whether this commitment will increase. My understanding is that this is part of the settlement which arises from the ending of the occupation status, but it brings us the corresponding advantage that West Germany begins to play her own part in bearing some of the cost of N.A.T.O. defence. We have an advantage there.