HC Deb 25 January 1961 vol 633 c142
5. Mr. Mulley

asked the Secretary of State for Air to what extent the decision to place Fighter Command under the control of the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, as part of a unified air defence system for Europe, involves changes in the size, rôle, composition and deployment of United Kingdom air defences forces; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. J. Amery

I do not expect that changes will result in our plans for the size, rôle, composition and deployment of our forces; these are matters reserved for national decision.

Mr. Mulley

I accept that unified air command in Europe is desirable, but does not the Secretary of State agree that the announcement of a decision of such importance should have been made to the House and not left to the last day before Christmas and made by way of a Written Answer?

Mr. Amery

The elements which the hon. Gentleman mentions in his Question—size, r⊚cle, composition and deployment—are reserved for national decision. The main change. towards which we had been moving before, is the integration of the warning system. I think there would have been general unanimity in the House that it was right to move in that direction.