HC Deb 15 March 1960 vol 619 cc1121-2
42. Mr. Warbey

asked the Prime Minister what arrangements he has made to co-ordinate the policies of the Defence and Service Departments with those of the Foreign Office in relation to disarmament.

The Prime Minister

It is not customary to publish details of the machinery for consultation between Ministers or their Departments.

Mr. Warbey

In view of the great importance of the disarmament conference which is opening today, can the Prime Minister give an assurance that the British Pentagon will be kept in its place and that Service chiefs and military leaders will not be allowed to sabotage the possibility of a disarmament agree- ment by fighting for the retention of particular weapons or seeking to maintain a mythical balance of power, as they did between 1932 and 1934?

The Prime Minister

That suggestion is quite unworthy. The Service chiefs give us their advice and the Government make their decision. In this case, however, we have not only been able to co-ordinate between the Defence and Service Departments, but, I am happy to say, we have been able to gat a co-ordinated plan between the five Western Governments.