HC Deb 13 December 1961 vol 651 cc425-6
14. Mr. Frank Allaun

asked the Minister of Defence if he will list the six highest positions in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation held by German officers; if he will state the number and percentage of German generals in the senior North Atlantic Treaty Organisation staffs; and if he will oppose further appointments of this kind.

Mr. Profumo

I have been asked to reply.

With permission I will circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT the list of the seven highest positions in N.A.T.O. held by German officers. These officers are the only seven West German officers of major-general or equivalent rank serving on N.A.T.O. staffs and form 6.38 per cent. of the total of such ranks on such staffs. The answer to the last part of the Question is "No, Sir".

Mr. Allaun

At the top level is it not more than 6.3 per cent.? Did not these men—Heusinger, von Speidel and Wagner—play leading parts in planning Hitler's aggression, and even worse? Far from integrating these men in N.A.T.O., are they not being given control of it through these commanding positions?

Mr. Profumo

When the hon. Gentleman reads my Answer he will see that it fits exactly his Question. The Federal Republic is making an increasingly large contribution to N.A.T.O. forces, and it is only reasonable that a share of N.A.T.O. command and staff appointments should be filled by German officers. Regarding the last part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question, the hon. Gentleman may have noticed that after the plot against Hitler's life both Heusinger and von Speidel spent the rest of the war in the hands of the Gestapo.

Mr. Bellenger

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that if N.A.T.O. is to accept twelve divisions of German troops then obviously that includes general officers as well as privates?

Mr. Profumo indicated assent.

Mr. Jeger

Will the right hon. Gentleman include in the list a note of the high-ranking German officers in charge of the East German Army?

Mr. Profumo

I think that the hon. Gentleman will have to put a Question to the Foreign Secretary about that.

Following is the list: General Heusinger, Chairman, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Military Committee in Permanent Session. General Speidel, Commander-in-Chief Allied Forces Central Europe. Major-General von der Groeben, Deputy-Commander, Baltic Approaches. Rear-Admiral Wagner, Commander, Naval Baltic Approaches. 1 Lieutenant-General, Supreme Head-quarters Allied Powers Europe Staff. 1 Major-General, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe Staff. 1 Major-General, Commander-in-Chief Allied Forces Central Europe Staff.