HC Deb 24 February 1960 vol 618 cc369-70
41 and 42. Mr. Strachey

asked the Secretary of State for War (1) the numbers by types of operational Army units in the Middle East Command;

(2) the approximate total Army establishment of the Middle East Command in officers, other ranks, and civilians, respectively.

Mr. H. Fraser

It would not be in the public interest to give more information than is contained in my right hon. Friend's Memorandum on the Army Estimates.

Mr. Strachey

Does not the hon. Gentleman agree that, even on the rather exiguous information in these Estimates, the number of units and the responsibility of Middle East Command now are quite out of proportion with the massive bases at Episkopi and Dhekelia in Cyprus which are obviously being built up, and can he explain the discrepancy of the use of this vast base for a very small purpose?

Mr. Fraser

All I can say is that this Command has always been of great importance to this country and to our allies and the N.A.T.O. commander has very wide responsibilities. Regarding the right hon. Gentleman's further comment, he will have noticed that his right hon. Friend the Member for Belper (Mr. G. Brown) has put Questions to the Minister of Defence which are to be answered later this afternoon.