HC Deb 16 November 1960 vol 630 cc368-9
23. Mr. Lipton

asked the Minister of Defence when the next White Paper on Defence will be published.

Mr. Watkinson

Early next year.

Mr. Lipton

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the very grave disquiet in well informed and responsible quarters over the appalling muddle in our defences? With so many confusing and contradictory statements by the Minister himself, should not the White Paper on Defence be issued much earlier? Perhaps he might even consider issuing a quarterly White Paper so that he can keep pace with all the wobblings in Government policy.

Mr. Watkinson

If I tried to keep pace with the wobblings of hon. Members below the Gangway, I should have to issue it once a week.

Mr. Shinwell

Before the White Paper on Defence is published, will the right hon. Gentleman consult the Leader of the House in order to reconcile their differences?

Mr. Watkinson

The right hon. Gentleman must not try to plant on us the differences from which he suffers in his own party.

Mr. Kershaw

When my right hon. Friend publishes the White Paper, will he include in it some paragraphs dealing with the possibility of recruiting manpower from the Commonwealth and other dependent territories on the lines at present followed in the Gurkha Brigades? Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is ample manpower to be recruited from these spheres if sufficient originality and drive are devoted to the matter?

Mr. Watkinson

That is a very useful suggestion. I will certainly look into it very carefully.