HC Deb 19 July 1961 vol 644 cc1372-407

Question again proposed, That the Visiting Forces (Application of Law) Order, 1961, a draft of which was laid before this House on 12th July, be approved.

Mr. Hale

Even if we were to forget that we have to deal with another form of suicide before the night is out, I would not want to delay the House much longer.

There is no racial issue about this and I am sure that my right hon. Friend, on reflection, will wish that he did not say that. We have just been giving a demonstrative reception to a Russian Communist. Most hon. Members seem to think that Mr. Khrushchev is the major fear on the political horizon. I should hardly think that it could be disputed by the majority of this House that we are anti-Communist, but we have never extended that to individuals, and I hope we never shall.

I ask the House to judge what has happened. Every argument that has been used in favour of the Motion tonight is really an argument against it. We were told by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Edge Hill (Mr. A. J. Irvine) that we must not practise discrimination, but every amendment of the Brussels Treaty has been a discrimination against Germany. As my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne said in what, even for him, was a singularly brilliant speech, we have practised progressive discrimination against them from Potsdam onwards. My hon. and learned Friend the Member for Edge Hill was asked: would he allow them to have the hydrogen bomb? He said that he would not, and that is a discrimination.

We have been through all this before. Let us have no misunderstanding about this. We were going through it long before Hitler was on the horizon. We were going through it at the time of the death of Walter Rathenau and we were going through it at the time of death of Rosa Luxembourg. History has a habit of repeating itself rather more often than one would wish.

In 1953, the present Chancellor of the Exchequer informed the House that the break-up of the Krupp empire was now agreed, that it was the law of the Bonn Parliament, had been completely agreed, and that we need not worry any more about it. Today, Krupp has a turnover of £452 million a year in Germany and is controlling the most powerful industry in Western Germany. While Alfred Krupp is dominating German steel, and will dominate the Common Market, I am frightened about German arms.

That is why, though it may be that this vote is symbolic. I certainly shall vote. I do not believe that the state of public opinion in this country today welcomes this sort of thing. My hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne made the point which I need not repeat, but it arose rather remarkably from the speech of my hon. Friend the Member for Pembroke (Mr. Donnelly), who started by saying. "What are you worrying about, 600 men coming to practise in Wales?" It was rather like Lord Halifax's hunting trip before the war—no great harm would be done. Then my hon. Friend the Member for Pembroke asked if there was to be a widening of the roads. The question asked was whether the roads could be widened. Goodness knows how many million pounds it will cost to have the roads widened for manœuvring tanks all over Pembroke. But surely we are not having this debate, which has moved many hon. Members very deeply, surely we are not having questions asked about widening the roads, if all that is contemplated is a visit of a few weeks by 600 young tank gunners for their earliest, preliminary training, which, in any event, could have taken place on the Continent.

Or does it mean that in a few months' time the Government will make another statement and my right hon. Friend will say, "We accepted it last time. We did not vote against it. We all abstained. We let it through nemine contradicente. Therefore, nobody can argue against it, because it is a logical continuation—my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Edge Hill will certainly say this—of the first Order." If we have them in Pembroke, why not in Oldham? Well, why not?

This is the last ditch. I remember a paper written by one of my hon. Friends whom I most loved and whom I most miss—the former Member for Gravesend. We asked him once to do a paper on last ditches. He pointed out that in the last three years we had occupied about eight last ditches and had retired from them all. But there must be a point at which one can occupy a last ditch in a Division on one occasion at least. I believe that the Labour Party will be strengthened in the country by the fact that some of us feel that we cannot allow this Order to pass without expressing, by our vote, our complete and absolute dissent.

10.8 p.m.

Mr. Emrys Hughes (South Ayrshire)

I oppose the Motion, not because I have any hatred of the Germans, but because I believe that the fact that we are opposing the Motion will be welcome to many people in Germany who will be glad to know that in this country there is a minority who are doing their utmost to prevent Germany from being embroiled in another war.

I am rather older than many hon. Members, and I have seen great changes in the attitude of public opinion in this country towards the German people. I remember the First World War, when Keir Hardie was howled down on 6th August, 1914, because he dared to say that the Germans were people very much like ourselves and that they were not the cause of the war. In the First World War, among others who opposed it, I was frequently accused of being pro-German. I remember attending a tribunal which had the duty of exempting us, or refusing to exempt us, from Army service, and I remember having to put up a case against the queries of people who wanted to get us into the Army.

When all the country was inflamed by the stories of German atrocities in Belgium and Northern France, the usual question which was asked was, "Would you allow your sister or your mother to be raped by a German?" I do not know whether anyone will ask that question in Pembrokeshire today. I gather from the mood of the House that hon. Members regard the Germans as intelligent, civilised people with whom we should live on terms of friendship and against whom we should harbour no ill will. I subscribe to the view that we cannot bring an indictment against a nation, in the famous words of Burke, and should not harbour in our minds racial hatred or enmity to nations because of actions done during the war.

It is true that the Germans did terrible things to the Jews, to the Russians, to ourselves, and to others during the war. But the Germans say to Englishmen today, "Yes, but what did you do to Dresden?" We bombed and burned alive 100,000 Germans in Dresden when the fighting was practically over. If we wished to go back into the past, we should find that in times of war feeling is roused, propaganda whips up passions, and we go through emotions which in the calm perspective of history are better forgotten.

The hon. Member for Truro (Mr. G. Wilson) recalled the Battle of Waterloo, at which we fought side by side with the Germans. Anyone wishing to have an interesting sidelight on present-day emotions to history should take foreigners through the Royal Gallery here. I took a party of school children from West Berlin through the Royal Gallery a week ago. They recognised Blucher. They said, "You only won the Battle of Waterloo because the Germans were there to help." The Germans were our allies. The next day I took a party of young Russians from the Exhibition around. I said, "Yesterday the Germans were here. They said that they won the Battle of Waterloo". The Russians said, "We won the Battle of Waterloo". I said, "The Russians were not at the Battle of Waterloo". They said, "The Russians destroyed the Army of Napoleon when Napoleon invaded Russia".

While we are supposed to have friendly feelings towards the Germans, which is a good international sentiment, why should we hate the Russians? I ask those hon. Members who talk about forgetting the past and forgiving our enemies this question. Why should not we show the same human charity towards those who were our allies and suffered with us during the last war?

Mr. John Hynd (Sheffield, Attercliffe)

And forget the present?

Mr. Hughes

I am dealing with the present. I want to interpret the past and try to get at the future in terms of the past and the present. I want the same feeling of forgiveness as we show to our enemies shown to our old friends. I do not want a feeling of racial animosity towards any nation, because no nation has anything to gain by preparing for war or exercising for war on the plains of Pembrokeshire or anywhere else.

When I came to the House of Commons in 1946—after the war—I found that one of the biggest opponents of the Germans and the man who seemed to hate the Germans most in the House of Commons was Mr. Ernest Bevin. After the war I went to Germany and returned to this country with a memorandum from the German trade unionists who were objecting to their coal mines and oil and steel plants in the Ruhr being shut down. I remember putting Questions to Mr. Ernest Bevin. He said then, "I can never forget what the Germans did to my constituency". Unfortunately, those memories exist today. There are millions of people in this country who, because of emotion or sentiment cannot take an objective point of view, because in nearly every sizeable town in this country there are war memorials to sons, fathers and grandfathers who died in two world wars fought against the Germans.

I can take a dispassionate, philosophical, international outlook on this issue, but among a very large number of people who cannot there will tomorrow be a great feeling of thankfulness that some of us are prepared to defy the party Whips, as we have done before, to express this sentiment in the place in which it should be expressed. I believe in unity, of course, but not the kind of unity that makes principle subservient to political expediency. Therefore, I must vote against this Order, knowing that by so doing I am voting for my constituents and for a general sentiment.

What will these Germans do? They will parade to and fro in their tanks, and photographs will be taken of German Panzers in the fields and lanes of South Wales. These pictures will be reproduced all over Europe, all over the world. The West will publish them as propaganda to show that the feeling of hatred against the Germans has gone, and the Russians and the Eastern world will publish them as propaganda to show that we are preparing for the next war. Does anyone think that that will relieve the present international tension?

It is not only the Germans of whom we must think. What about Czechoslovakia? What about Poland and those other countries who hate the emergence of Russian militarism, too? Of course they hate it. I also have some sympathy for the young Germans who are being brought here. They are conscripts, dragged into military service because Western Germany could not raise an army in any other way. Of course, there are minor difficulties as well. Just fancy them being stationed in Pembrokeshire and being represented by the present hon. Member for that division.

I believe that if it accepts this Order the House will do something that is repulsive to a very large number of people, and will take a step that will help to increase international tension rather than ease it. We care so much for the Germans, but a fortnight ago, at Question Time, I asked the Prime Minister whether he would give a guarantee that this country would never again bomb Berlin. That was a splendid opportunity to show sympathy with the West Germans—and, if a bomb drops, one cannot dissociate East Berlin from West Berlin. What was the answer? I was told that the Government would not give such an assurance because they did not give unilateral undertakings—

Sir Thomas Moore (Ayr)

Will the hon. Gentleman tell me whether he is arguing for or against this Order?

Mr. Hughes

The hon. Baronet is without his usual perspicacity. He should realise that, at any rate, I am not on the same side as he is.

I am arguing against this Order because it is not in the interests of the German people or of the people of Berlin. I have been in West Berlin a good deal since the war and I have watched with great interest Berlin rising from the ashes and debris to become a city in which there exists some hope

Mr. G. Wilson

Which half?

Mr. Hughes

I have been in both halves of Berlin.

Mr. Wilson

I was wondering whether the hon. Gentleman was saying that only half had risen from the ashes.

Mr. Hughes

if the hon. Member for Truro (Mr. G. Wilson) had been to Berlin since the war—

Mr. Wilson

I was there last week.

Mr. Hughes

I am arguing that the people of Berlin have nothing to gain by a build-up of armed forces under the auspices of N.A.T.O., and that whatever happens if there is a clash in Berlin the people there will suffer, just as they have suffered before. I do not see any hope at all in this build-up under N.A.T.O. I was opposed to N.A.T.O. as I was opposed to the rearming of Germany, and I have gone into the Division Lobbies against both subjects on previous occasions.

As I say, I see no hope in building up the forces of N.A.T.O. because all one does by doing so is to intensify the arms race and the most important task at the moment is to do something to stop the arms race. By associating with this build-up of armed forces, instead of pursuing the path of disarmament, we are neither helping the Germans nor anyone else.

Although this debate has been badly attended there will be people in Britain who will be profoundly grateful to the minority in this House who have stated the case against this Order.

10.23 p.m.

Mr. Frank Allaun (Salford, East)

Step by step this Government are removing every restriction on German rearmament. It is unpleasantly reminiscent of the years 1933–39 when the Conservative Government of Mr. Chamberlain gave every encouragement to the rearmament of Hitler Germany.

Let me inform hon. Gentlemen opposite of the recent steps. First of all permission was given to double the size of German destroyers. The intention is that they should accommodate missiles and that those missiles will have nuclear warheads. Then there has been the giving to Germany of the Mace and Matador, each capable of delivering a nuclear warhead 900 miles to the east or west. We have put in charge of the N.A.T.O. Permanent Committee in Washington Heusinger, who was one of Hitler's top-brass, and in charge of British land forces in Europe von Speidel, who was equally guilty of the crimes committed during the last war.

And now tonight the Minister proposes that German troops should be brought to this country. I am not against the German people. I have visited both East and West Germany, and I know that the German people want war no more than we do. I do not blame them. I blame this Government and the American Government for forcing weapons into their hands. As I say, I am not blaming the German people, but I blame, to a certain extent, the German militarists. Hon. Members will remember the book written after the First World War, The Kaiser goes, the generals remain. The same book could be written today. Hitler goes but the generals remain. The top 140 officers in the German Army today all served as officers in Hitler's Wehrmacht.

Tonight, we are discussing the legal position of German troops coming to this country. But we all know that this will be the last opportunity that hon. Members will have of voicing their opposition to the coming of German troops to our country, certainly before November and possibly for all time. Indeed, the Minister himself, when he opened the debate, made it clear that he was discussing not merely the legal question, but the coming of the troops themselves.

I shall speak for only five minutes, and it will take me less than that to state the grounds of my opposition to the coming of German troops. I do so because I believe that the intensification of the arms race both by the American and Russian blocs is taking us into the third World War. I believe that neither the American nor the Russian Government want war, but are both so frightened of the other that they are saying, "We can only negotiate through a position of strength." I believe that the way out is for Britain to say, along with the other neutral countries, "We want peace, friendship and trade with both America and Russia, but we are prepared to fight for neither of them."

Mr. Dudley Williams (Exeter)

That is straight from Moscow.

Mr. Allaun

The opposition to what I believe the Government are doing is based mainly on that ground, but there are additional objectionable features in what is proposed. The Minister has not yet denied the possibility that these troops, whilst they may be young conscripts, will be officered by former Nazi officers. Nor has he denied the possibility that they will be trained in the use of nuclear weapons. Surely there must be among the large number of Conservative Members some Members, or even one, prepared to say. "I am opposed to this." We on this side of the House have our divisions, but are hon. Members opposite so completely united? If so, I say to hon. Members opposite: face your own constituents and say that there is not one of you who is prepared to oppose this point of view. Surely, as Aneurin Bevan once said, this is the uniformity of the graveyard.

Why are the troops coming? A few days ago the Minister said that they were coming because the place selected is a suitable range. It has been said that this is a very ordinary and elementary range, and today the Minister has told us that the area will be something like eight square miles. Surely nobody is trying to kid us that they cannot find this sort of very ordinary and elementary tank range in Germany.

The Minister knows in his heart that that is not the real reason. The real reason for bringing German troops to our country is to condition the British people to accepting much worse. This is the thin end of the wedge. Indeed, the Minister himself has said that if there is not great opposition to this, more will come. But it is not only a question of tank training. These Germans are going to be trained in the use of nuclear weapons.

Mr. Watkinson

I must make plain that I said in my opening speech that there was no question at all of any training on this range in anything but ordinary tank training and ordinary conventional weapons.

Mr. Allaun

If I may say so, that is a very weak point. Nobody is suggesting that they will be trained in the use of nuclear weapons at Castlemartin. It will be done at some other place. If the German troops are not to be so trained, and if the Minister is determined that they will not be, why not say so?

I maintain that the bringing of these German troops here is to rub the noses of the British people in the mess of German rearmament with nuclear weapons.

Mr. Dudley Williams

Moscow will not like that.

Mr. Allaun

Mr. Deputy-Speaker, the tactics of McCarthy—

Sir Leslie Plummer (Deptford)

Let the hon. Member for Exeter (Mr. Dudley Williams) get to his feet to say it.

Mr. Dudley Williams

I said that Moscow will not thank the hon. Member for Salford, East (Mr. Frank Allaun) for that.

Mr. Allaun

I did not hear that interruption, but I did hear what the hon. Member said earlier. I maintain that McCarthy tactics to smear the ideas of people one does not agree with are con- trary to the traditions of the House of Commons.

The purpose of bringing these German troops here—it is not, as some have suggested, a trivial matter—is to commit us more deeply in the present entanglement. I am opposed to the arms race, to the building up of armed forces in both East and West. That is why I oppose the deeper commitment we are asked to take this evening.

The excuse given is that it is good to integrate the German forces in N.A.T.O. The Minister know from the numbers of divisions in existence now that Germany is rapidly becoming the greatest military power in Western Europe. We are to integrate Western Germany by making her the master military power.

During this summer, there has been a series of trade union conferences. With one exception, they have all, I believe, overwhelmingly voted against the acceptance of German troops in our country. The Welsh Regional Council of Labour is opposed to it. Certainly, my constituency party is bitterly opposed to it. I believe that there are within the Conservative Party voters who are opposed to it, and they will wonder why some of their Members did not rise to oppose it in the House of Commons. The step we are asked to take is completely wrong. It is the thin end of the wedge of worse things to come.

10.33 p.m.

Mr. Harold Davies (Leek)

For years now, we have watched the gradual erosion of opposition to the growing militarisation of the whole of Western Europe. All sorts of excuses are made. History repeats itself. We see ourselves, every twenty years, making the friends of the last war the enemies of the next. Casuistry, logic of a kind—if it can be called that—and all manner of arguments are offered.

We ask for evidence of opposition on the benches opposite. Some of us still remember how the Tories treated the right hon. Member for Woodford (Sir W. Churchill) when he alone on those benches accused them of supporting the Anglo-German Fellowship and the build-up of Germany before the war. [Interruption.] We cannot expect anything else from that type of monolithic party as it is now. It has lost its guts. It has lost its grit. It is giving a completely amoral lead economically, socially and militarily to the world. Hon. Members opposite have not even the courage to criticise the mistakes of the United States Government but follow them as sycophantically as ever. [Laughter.] I have watched that group of hon. Members opposite from whom the laughter comes. Some of them, with all their scoffing about Red Russia, are only too glad to dip their greasy fingers in the lucrative pocket of East-West trade. It just shows how some of them are completely lying about the whole situation. It is just a facade. Their laughter is the laughter not of sincerity, but of hypocrisy, like the crackle of thorns under foot.

The Anglo-German Fellowship individual who shouted "Hatred" across the Floor a few moments ago is building up the hope like some silly little person that the German forces will resist the Red hordes of Communism. What guarantee has anyone of the way the Germans will move? They will move the way that suits themselves. We are building up Germany, as the Daily Mail pointed out the other day, so that 40 per cent. of the people in the forces are German and 100 per cent. of the naval forces, and an air force that will be six times stronger than ours. Then, the Government tell us that to bring in 600 troops to my little country will defend the world. [Interruption.] I am sick of the hypocrisy of the arguments of hon. Members opposite. Not one of them has the guts to vote against it.

Mr. B. T. Parkin (Paddington, North)

Or to speak.

Mr. Davies

Let hon. Members opposite come into the Lobby with us tonight if they want to demonstrate their opposition.

We know these silly little arguments that the Press puts forward—that this will create employment. What a pathetic confession by the Tory Party who said, "You have never had it so good." The only way they are bringing a little bit of work to Wales is by bringing in German troops. Now, they are asking us to widen the roads so that they can bring them in. What idiocy this is. Cannot the British people see through it? What protection will it afford us? The Germans will not thank us for this.

I remember Ollenauer being in tears. I was over in Germany when we forced rearmament on the German people against their will. Millions of the German people do not want it today. I remember being at the conference of the French Socialist Party in the village of Puteaux outside Paris, when the Socialist Party of France said that because England had voted for the rearmament of the Germans, they must do the same. There comes a time when somebody has to take a decision and put a stop to it. [Interruption.] We are unleashing the dogs of war and crying havoc all the time.

Look at hon. Members opposite. They were laughing at the right hon. Member for Woodford before the war. They were laughing at some of the prophecies from this side of the House as we tried to stem the tide to war.

Sir Peter Agnew (Worcestershire, South) rose

Mr. Davies

I am not giving way. If it is getting under your skin, I cannot help it. The real thing today is that if we want to unite our people and if we want to stem the tide to war, we want a Government that at least will do something constructive. The constructive thing in Germany would be to try to go back to the disengagement proposal and to get a non-nuclear zone.

Our next step will be to agree to the nuclear rearmament of Germany. We will be asked to swallow that one. What use is a tank in modern war, when one bomb can obliterate an island? Is it because we sold a few tank guns that we want them to try them over here? What was the price of bringing the troops over? Is it a try-out? Our people in Britain were very kind to the German troops when they were prisoners of war. No hatred was shown. Millions of people treated them well. We had them on the farms in England and Scotland, because once we saw the man without the gun we liked him. We welcome him in Wales to our eisteddfod.

He can come with his song and his music and his culture—and the best German culture is some of the best in the world—and we shall welcome him. That is what we want. But I am not going out of this House tonight feeling I had not the courage to go into the Lobby against the Motion, because I know in my heart and soul that if we go on with this we run on towards the Third World War, which will be the last war. There, on that side of the House, lies the power. I beg of you to use it. Is there not a leader amongst you? Is there not one of you who has the courage to protest about this? Some of us have led you before. In your heart of hearts some of you know that what has been said on this side is true.

Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Sir Gordon Touche)

The hon. Member should address the Chair.

Mr. Davies

I apologise.

I finish with this. We must take some action to put a stop to this proposal. It can be done now. When some Members of my side of the House have the courage to go into the Lobby tonight they will create the great debate in this country. It has nothing to do with the childish accusation of hatred. I beg some Members opposite, if they will not come into the Lobby with us, at least to abstain. Because somewhere a stop must be put to this proposal. This is where it can begin. As my hon. Friend the Member for Nelson and Colne (Mr. S. Silverman) said, we cannot wait for Blackpool. The decision is tonight. The decision is now. Is there no one on the other side who will stand up now and speak against the Motion? Is there not somewhere on that side at least one person with the courage to tell the truth that is in his or her heart, knowing this is wrong, and not the path to peace, and does not help one iota to solve the problem of peace in Europe?

10.42 p.m.

Sir Leslie Plummer (Deptford)

The accusation is made against some of us who take the view that the arrival of German troops in this country is a betrayal of the things we fought for during the war that our opposition is an act of racialism. It comes pretty badly from people on the other side of the House who argued and fought for the disgraceful and destructive policy of unconditional surrender which carried on the war for another year.

Some of us on this side of the House believed that unconditional surrender was a policy of utter folly. We were not being racialist then. We were saying that we had to bring the holocaust to an end at the earliest possible moment. We were impressed by the argument that we cannot carry wars to a final conclusion through military methods and achieve for the world any sort of lasting peace. Who was right, the unconditional surrenderers, or those who took the view that a time had come in 1944 when we were not going to achieve anything by bombing Dresden and destroying Hamburg, and that what we should do was achieve a peace which would save at least one year of war, save possibly a million military lives, save perhaps a million or two million Jews from destruction. We were not racialist. We are not racialist now, though may I say that it is extremely difficult not to be racialist where Germans are concerned?

After all, in my lifetime the wickedest crimes which have been committed against humanity have been committed by the Germans in one form or another—the wickedest crimes, indefensible crimes: genocide on a scale which has been hitherto almost unknown in the history of the world since the days of Tamburlaine. It is mistaken and unfair to make that accusation against us who are shocked by the horrible things the Germans have done and when the hope and aim of all of us should be to stop such things from happening again.

When we argue that the introduction of German troops into this country at this time is seen as an act of provocation—at a time when there should not be provocation—we are told we are escaping the logic of the situation. If we are going to argue along logical lines, why is not this party voting in favour of the Germans coming into this country? Those hon. Members of my party who are in favour of German rearmament should not discriminate, they should be arguing that the Germans ought to come here. Those of my party who are in favour of German rearmament should be arguing that the Germans ought to have nuclear weapons because they argue at the same time that the nuclear weapon is the great deterrent, that the Germans are members of N.A.T.O. and that as members of N.A.T.O. they should have this great deterrent which is contributing to the peace of the world because it is building up a defence against the Russians. They are not saying this at all.

They are saying that we will not take sides in this matter. Instead we will sit by and let the Government decide what is going to be done.

But the Labour Party cannot evade the responsibilities of history simply by sitting down and saying that we will not do anything. The appeal has been made that we should not take any action, in the interest of unity. I am bound to say that despite the fact that my own party has passed a resolution and sent it to the annual conference of the Labour Party protesting against the Germans coming into this country—I am bound by the standing orders of my party to abstain from voting tonight—I do not abstain from voting with any pleasure or with any sense of pride.

I take this last opportunity which I have of arguing that this proposed act of provocation will lead to very serious consequences. The West German Social Democratic Party, which has been put before us as the shining ideal which we should follow, has through its leader argued that the time has come for a rectification of the Oder-Neisse Line, So does Dr. Adenauer. What effect does this bipartisanship have on the people of Europe, on the Poles in particular and on the Czechs and on the peoples of the other countries who have had to put up with German conquest and occupation?

What does Mr. Willy Brandt think he is doing when he argues, in the interest of winning an election, that he is even more revanchist on an issue like this than Dr. Adenauer himself? Dr. Adenauer is arguing that there must be unification of Germany just as Mr. Willy Brandt is arguing and just as some of my hon. Friends are arguing that it is in the interests of the pacification of the world that there should be unification of Germany.

I say to the House that unification of Germany is not only, in my view, a menace to world peace but is an absolute impossibility because Eastern Europe is not going to have it. Why do we chase this political chimera? It is not there. We are exhausting ourselves arguing that we must have a united Germany and we must make her a military force because a united Germany is essential. I doubt this. I think that the political raison d'être of Willy Brandt would vanish and so would Dr. Adenauer's if there were to be a united Germany. Anyway, they are not going to get it, and I am not particularly anxious that they should.

But at the moment, on the eve of the German elections—they are to take place in mid-September—both the parties in their political attitude, particularly where the Oder-Neisse Line and the return of the lost provinces are concerned, are going to be able to say, "Both sides in the House of Commons do not object to our men going to England. Here is a great gesture which both parties in the House of Commons are supporting and, therefore, you voters can take it for granted that opinion in Britain is on our side." I believe this to be fundamentally untrue. I believe the idea of German troops in this country is repugnant to the majority of the people here, and that we ought to be saying so.

It is argued that this is an opportunity for an intergration of the Germans into N.A.T.O. It is said that it is better to have German guns firing on our ranges in Pembrokeshire than to have them firing near their Eastern borders. But if it is right that they should come out of Germany to fire their guns and it is necessary to integrate them into N.A.T.O., why do they not go to the United States where there is plenty of room to fire their guns? Why come here? It is perfectly simple to take 600 soldiers to the United States and let them exercise there, but they have to be brought here for the political reasons advanced by my hon. Friend the Member for Salford, East (Mr. Frank Allaun).

It is said that if we were to vote against this tonight it would be destructive of the N.A.T.O. alliance. If N.A.T.O. is so weak that an expression on our part that we do not want German troops to be trained in this country would be destructive of it, the sooner we start reorganising it or get out of it the better. It is a ludicrous argument that if we oppose Germans coming into this country we will be dealing a deathblow to N.A.T.O. N.A.T.O. will have many more blows before the last page of history is written. It will have blows from the French, for De Gaulle is giving it blow after blow. The Germans themselves are giving it blow after blow, and I do not believe that our opposition tonight would give the congé to the whole N.A.T.O. alliance.

This Order will go through. Soon we shall have another debate. It will not be about 600 men coming for three weeks but something more sinister and more dangerous than that, but I hope with my hon. Friend the Member for Rossendale (Mr. Greenwood) that in October the rank and file of the Labour Party at our Conference will express their view so clearly that our general attitude will change, and for the better.

10.52 p.m.

Mr. B. T. Parkin (Paddington, North)

I do not know what effect the debate has had on the Minister of Defence or whether he expected it to take the serious turn which has developed in its later stages, but I should like to pay tribute to the skill with which he introduced the Order. I think he slightly miscalculated what would be the mood of the House, but certainly his speech will read very well. His method of soft-pedalling the whole thing and indicating it as something of very little importance was extremely skilful and well done. The right hon. Gentleman told us with great delicacy of the arrangements made to cause nobody any inconvenience, not even the sheep. It was a nice touch to say that there would be no soldiers about to interfere with the grazing and that the range would be used only in the winter. But I think that the right hon. Gentleman over-played it a little.

The right hon. Gentleman dealt very effectively with my right hon. Friend the Member for Rossendale (Mr. Greenwood) on atomic weapons. He made it perfectly clear that that had been conceded already. That is what my hon. Friend the Member for Salford, East (Mr. Frank Allaun) was complaining about. We had the thick end of the wedge first—all the concessions have been made about atomic training. As the Minister so gracefully said, nobody would think of using atomic weapons on a range that size. But we have on offer the range in the Hebrides for any Germans who want to come and use it. It is still open. This is on record. It has been confirmed. It will be confirmed by the vote tonight. It is endorsed. We are moving step by step, rejecting all the guarantees and all the conditions which are supposed to have been laid down. The Minister has made it clear to us that even our own tank units could not use this range for any serious purpose. They have to go where they cart get 72,000 acres in Germany whereas this range is only 5,000 acres. As for the suggestion that the Germans have to go to Pembrokeshire because they cannot find 5,000 acres of their own—although they can find 72.000 acres for the wider type of manoeuvre—I do not suppose anyone would be expected to take that argument very seriously.

When I hear all these arguments about the interchangeability of units, the brilliant suggestions about the logistic dividing up of our forces, and when the Minister reminds us of this political control by fifteen, and when I hear that the troops are not going to do anything to interfere with the grazing, and all these other soothing arguments, I have to pinch myself to realise what sort of debate this is.

Is this serious? Are we really talking about preparations for a situation where a nuclear war can break out at the shortest possible notice as a result of an accident? Is it not the effect of that psychological atmosphere in the world which is far more important than assurances that the grazing will not be interfered with at Castlemartin? Ought not we to be discussing those implications? That has been evaded tonight. It is true that it is not within the terms of the Order, but the object of the Order can be considered only in the light of the other preparations that are going on.

There is a news item tonight about the next kind of early warning which will give us a little more than four minutes. I do not know whether the gentleman who thought of the name for it will get into trouble. I think he must be a pacifist, a neutralist or a fellow-traveller. The name that it has been given is Midas. Perhaps the barber will reveal that this Midas has ass's ears as well.

The real basis on which we are arguing, I should have thought, was the way to prevent nuclear war breaking out by accident. The Minister attempted one approach, but my right hon. Friend the Member for Belper (Mr. G. Brown) was obviously deeply moved by the fact that he could have made the Minister's speech very much better. He naturally said that the Minister had not put his case at all well. Of course, that is perfectly true, because that is not really the Minister's case; it is my right hon. Friend's case. My right hon. Friend has been making it for years—and he ought to be better at it by now—with passionate sincerity. He really believes that this integration of conventional forces can work—as part of the police functions of the United Nations, I suppose, and to that extent, of course, I agree with him. I do not know of anyone Who would disagree with the proposition that the contributions to the defence potential of the United Nations for dealing with minor outbreaks are worthy of attention.

But when my right hon. Friend is talking and using this new vocabulary about logistics, interchange and so on, he means the device by which one puts the bows in one place and the arrows in another or the bolts in one camp and the rifles in another and brings them together after a committee meeting. That is all right if one is dealing with a situation which gives one some notice that it is working up. It might be all right for equipping units to serve under a United Nations command, but it has very little to do with the shadow that hangs over all of us—the shadow of nuclear destruction.

I am surprised that very little has been said tonight about that. There has been a good deal of reference to hatred. It is worth while inquiring where the hatreds are being directed in the world today. The old hatreds, it is true, have to some extent been modified and altered. Indeed, I am sometimes appalled at the reflection that the present situation as we see it emerge from Government policy as a whole is not far removed in general principle from what Mr. Rudolph Hess arrived to urge upon his friends in this country. I cannot say that without hurting somebody's feelings. It sounds as if I am sneering merely because these resentments are not all dead. Yet if this proposition could be examined in calmness, it would be found that this general policy has been upheld by strong forces in this country ever since the end of the first World War—forces which were shown to have miscalculated a little in 1939—but have been slowly emerging since.

I am surprised that no one on the Conservative benches has thought fit to spend any time tonight discussing whether the risks of nuclear war have increased or decreased with—

Mr. Deputy-Speaker

The hon. Member is getting out of order.

Hon. Members

Hear, hear.

Mr. Parkin

I must accept your Ruling, Mr. Deputy-Speaker. I am also interested in the enthusiastic support which it received from inside and actually from outside the Chamber as well.

If we are to be told that this has nothing to do with the dangers of a nuclear war, I think that that ought to be said more clearly. I thought that it was part of our general defence policy, and, if it is, we ought to be talking not quite so much about forgiving the Germans and a little bit more about how to improve our relations with the Russians. There is no question about what this debate is all about. It is based on the assumption that there will be a war between the Soviet Union and the United States, with us tagging along. There is no other issue. We should not be talking at this length and at this hour of the night if it were merely a question of training a few "rookies" in Wales.

That being so, I should have liked to have heard more from hon. Members opposite about their conception of whether Communism has changed in character or not and which brand of Communism they are opposed to at the present time, because the situation has certainly changed—

Mr. G. W. Reynolds (Islington, North)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Although I am sitting immediately below my hon. Friend, I am finding it very difficult to hear what he is saying because of the constant noise coming from the other side of the Chamber.

Mr. Speaker

I hope hon. Members will not make audibility painful.

Mr. Parkin

I used to put a good deal of hope in the diplomatic activities of the present Prime Minister before he got old and tired. There really did seem to be a time when it was the exact moment—with his maturity and his capacity to relax and look back over the centuries to get the historical perspective—for a man to take the sort of decision which was made when it was decided roughly in the West that militant Mohammedism was no longer a military danger to the inhabitants of this country; when there was a dynamic change and the thought of military conquest spent itself and that branch of civilisation developed in another way—

Mr. Speaker

I hope the hon. Gentleman will bear in mind the Question before the House.

Mr. Parkin

As I understand it, the Question before the House is whether we should train German soldiers in Wales for the purpose, I should suppose, of repelling an enemy, and that enemy can be identified. There is only one in the world at the moment which attracts the attention of those who want to see this kind of rearmament going on. I hope that it is not too far out of order to discuss whether the supposed trend of attack is one which has modified and developed and has changed in another direction. After all, if hon. Gentlemen opposite—

Mr. Speaker

In my opinion, that would be out of order. The Question is whether the Visiting Forces (Application of Law) Order, 1961, should be approved or not.

Mr. Parkin

I should emphasise that this is 1961 and that times have changed since N.A.T.O. was formed and when there were discussions about bringing various nations of Europe into an emergency arrangement—whether the decisions were right or wrong. The nations which are not in N.A.T.O. have developed and altered in the course of the years. The Prime Minister has taken the view that the time has come to agree to agree—no more than that—with many problems left unsolved. He took the view that the evolving nature of Communism was such that we could reach an agreement with the Russians at least to agree—

Mr. Speaker

Order. I want the hon. Member's help and that of the House in maintaining order. The point is, "Aye" or "No", should we approve this Order? The hon. Member is a long way wide of that. I do not wish to restrict him, but he must bear that Question in mind.

Mr. Parkin

I must try to help you, Mr. Speaker, because you always try to help me. From your point of view it is "Aye" or "No", but in varions parts of the House the matter is more complicated than that. Many of us have felt humiliated by the fact that we have not voted according to our views on previous occasions, and that is why we are tempted to widen the discussion beyond what you think is the scope of the Order by suggesting that as the years go by there must be changes in the nature of the supposed threat to Western civilisation. I am sorry that no one has thought it right to assess the importance of these changes. If I were to mention China you would be thoroughly annoyed with me, and I should not blame you, but I wish that people would decide which kind of Communism they think—

Mr. Speaker

Order. I give the hon. Member an unmistakable warning that I shall feel it necessary to require him to resume his seat unless he remains in order.

Mr. Parkin

I am indeed obliged to you, Mr. Speaker. I think that I have made my point and that it would add nothing to the argument if I tried to justify what I have said. That is my point, and you have allowed me to make it.

11.08 p.m.

Mr. G. W. Reynolds (Islington, North)

I listened to my hon. Friend the Member for Paddington, North (Mr. Parkin) with considerable interest, but I found myself in disagreement with one of his basic assumptions—namely, that this Order and other matters which we have discussed about defence were on the assumption that there will be a war. I must make it clear that when considering defence in the House I always have worked on the assumption that, provided that we are prepared, there will not be a war. I must point out that fundamental difference between us.

I cannot see that there is any logical political or defence case against the Order. On the other hand, I think that there is an emotional case against it. I have every sympathy with, fully understand and to a great extent share that feeling when discussing such an Order as this. It is only sixteen years ago that we reached the end of the Second World War—and sixteen years in the life span of the majority of hon. Members, let alone in the life of a nation, is a comparatively short period. It is a shorter period in my life than in that of the vast majority of hon. Members. One cannot wipe out of one's mind in sixteen years some of the terrible things which happened such a short time ago. Nevertheless, we have to face the fact that we have admitted the German Federal Republic as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and of the Brussels Treaty Organisation.

In the Brussels Treaty we recognised the fact that Germany was the aggressor in Europe during the period 1939–45 by putting her in a rather different position from the other members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation by imposing certain limits on her armaments. I am sorry that in the years since the Treaty was signed there has been a certain easing of those limits, culminating just a few weeks ago in the permission given to Germany to build comparatively large cruisers—I prefer to call them cruisers rather than destroyers—which in my view, are completely useless for defence, and simply provide political ammunition for those on the other side of the Iron Curtain who wish to stir up trouble in Western Europe on any pretext they can find.

We have been too easy in allowing Germany to have certain types of armaments—

Mr. Warbey

Then why has not my hon. Friend opposed those amendments to the Treaty?

Mr. Reynolds

As a member of the Western European Union, I have voiced my views to that Assembly, and on one occasion when a Parliamentary Question was asked by a right hon. Member for one of the Durham constituencies I stated that I could see no military value in these things and that wherever they might be used I could not see them lasting for more than five minutes. As far as I know, however, we have not had a debate on the matter since the alterations to the Treaty were made.

I have no doubt that although we regard Germany as being in a slightly inferior position to the rest of the members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, we have to face the fact that there is a German contribution to that Organisation. It should be in the region of twelve divisions; it seems to be taking an inordinate length of time to get to that strength, but in due course the German force will build up to something near that level. I am thankful that those German troops are completely deployed, some as part of the American Seventh Army, and some as part of the B.A.O.R., and that as there is no German military organisation above divisional level they are completely integrated with the Americans, France, ourselves and the other N.A.T.O. countries.

One has only to travel through Central Europe to see the vast agglomeration of war equipment and men gathered in Western Germany at the present time. Nevertheless, I find it difficult to believe that it would be impossible somewhere in Western Germany to find the few acres of land that are apparently necessary for the fairly simple training of German Panzer units. I cannot believe that, somewhere in Western Germany, there is not an area where this training that is now proposed shall be given on the Castlemartin range could not be carried out.

I think that by inviting these units here, or permitting them to come here for this training, we do not really in any way strengthen the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation or the Western Alliance. On the other hand, we do provide first-class political propaganda for the Soviet Union which, despite the fact that the Russians train their own tank crews in Hungary, will make the most of the warlike preparations they will say that we are enabling the Germans to indulge in in this country, and I would implore the Minister of Defence once again to look at this matter.

As I have said, I just cannot believe that in Western Germany there is not a site big enough for this work. The Secretary of State for War shakes his head, but how much land does it need to train 600 men? When one sees the wide open spaces there are in Western Germany, one finds it impossible to believe that the necessary training land cannot be found there. I hope, even now, that the matter can be reviewed.

On the other hand, I welcome this Order and, for another reason, will certainly not vote against it tonight. We are discussing the one question of the visit of these troops to the United Kingdom, but once the Order has been passed it will not be limited merely to a visit of that nature.

I hope that during the next few years we shall see a build-up in this country of German stores in some of the ordnance and supply depots that the British Army is closing down. Closing them down is liable to cause a good deal of unemployment in certain areas, and once this Order has been passed we shall be able to provide supply depot facilities for the West German forces. I understand that the Germans are complaining that such facilities are not available in Western Germany and that they are asking for facilities in order to store equipment and supplies in other parts of Europe. I would welcome the storage of such material in Britain—and naval equipment, too, if required—and I would be only too pleased to see those goods stored here.

Had the Germans had those things stored here in 1939 we could not have had the Second World War. My hon. Friends want to see a greater control over the German armed forces. What greater control can one have than to have German army supply dumps sited here? As I say, I should be only too pleased to see such dumps here and, once this Order has been passed, the necessary small units of German technicians and others necessary to look after the administration of these supply dumps will be able to come here.

It would ease the minds of many people not only to have German divisions intergrated from a command point of view within the general allied structure in Europe, but to have direct control over the supplies necessary for any army should it wish to use any initiative of its own.

Mr. Hale

Do I understand my hon. Friend to be saying that if we have German supply dumps in Britain and British supply dumps in Western Germany, we shall be able to pinch the German supply dumps in a time of war and they will be able to pinch ours? What is the practical benefit of that in the present situation?

Mr. Reynolds

My hon. Friend is trying to make an amusing point which really has no relevance to the situation we are discussing. I am pointing out that if we have such supply dumps in this country for the German forces we would inevitably have a much greater control over the mobility and activity of that army than we would in any other way. Obviously we must have considerable supply and ordnance depots on the Continent, in B.A.O.R. As for my hon. Friend's intervention about them being taken over, I find that suggestion quite ridiculous and I do not think I need go into that matter further.

I believe that we are discussing a subject that is charged with emotion. I have a great deal of sympathy and share a large amount of the feelings that emanate from memories of the period between 1939 and 1945. But I cannot believe that a vote against this Order can be regarded as a vote against Nazism or anything of that nature. I do not believe that it can be regarded as a vote against N.A.T.O. or German militarism. It would simply be a vote on an emotion, and I do not see how one can run this country, this House, our military strategy or the defence of this country if one's ideas are based on emotion, rather than on the factual position.

11.18 p.m.

Mr. John Hynd (Sheffield, Attercliffe)

Much as I did not intend to enter into this debate, and while I do not intend to make a long speech—especially in view of the scope of the subject—I should like just to make one short appeal to my hon. Friends who oppose this Order.

They should remember that many thousands of British and American troops are in Germany at the present time. There are vast military operations going on all the time at Luneburg Heath and elsewhere. An interesting and striking fact is that the German population—even the farmers of Luneburg Heath whose property has been damaged—have paid tribute to the restraint of the British troops, particularly from the Berlin garrison.

It is clear, whatever may be the individual feelings of some of my hon. Friends, that this decision taken by the N.A.T.O. Council has been accepted by the Government and will be adopted. Even if the whole Labour Party voted against it, it would be adopted—and the whole of the Labour Party does not intend to vote against it. I therefore appeal to my hon. Friends.

There have been demonstrations in South Wales and those demonstrations must have stirred up feelings against this proposal. That may be legitimate before the decision is taken, but, once the decision is taken, I appeal to those hon. Members to recognise that these young German soldiers who are coming to this country are doing so with the best of intentions as individuals, and that the least we can do, once the decision has been taken that they should come, is to give them a welcome and at least the same kind of welcome as is given to our troops in the garrisons in Germany. I hope that no hon. Member at that stage will lend himself to any attempt to stir up trouble which can only cause difficulties not only for these young soldiers but for ourselves and for all our allies in Europe and the world as a whole.

11.20 p.m.

Mr. John Strachey (Dundee, West)

I trust that in his reply the Minister of Defence will take the issue rather more widely and more gravely than he did in his opening statement.

This is an issue perhaps of a limited scope in its formal aspect, but obviously one of tremendous importance in all its implications. I agree in this, though I am afraid in this alone, with some of my hon. Friends who have opposed this Motion, that what we are really discussing here is the issue of N.A.T.O. If one is opposed to N.A.T.O. and all that it stands for, it logically follows that one opposes what is proposed here—the training of German troops in this country. But I put it to every hon. Member who is not prepared to come out in opposition to N.A.T.O. that if one stands by N.A.T.O. one really cannot treat a country as a pariah and as an ally at the same time.

Sir L. Plummer

Does the same argument apply to Portugal and Portuguese troops in this country?

Mr. Strachey

Certainly. We can and do object in the strongest possible way to the colonial policy of Portugal. That is an entirely different thing. It does not mean that we cannot object to some policy of the West German Government.

Mr. M. Foot

The argument of my right hon. Friend about Portugal was that it was very disadvantageous to have the procedures for the training of troops at a moment when we strongly objected to a particular aspect of Portuguese policy. But in the same way with Germany Dr. Adenauer only a few days ago denounced entirely the whole of the foreign policy of the Labour Party. He denounced the Rapacki Plan. He denounced the plans for disengagement. Does my right hon. Friend think it is a good idea that at such a moment the Labour Party should go out of its way to commend the idea of German troops being trained in this country? Have we not as much right to protest against this policy of the German Government as we protested against the colonial policy of the Portuguese Government?

Mr. Strachey

My hon. Friend has a right to protest against any speech made by Dr. Adenauer. So have I and so has everybody, and we all exercise such a right. But this is an entirely different question of whether Germany, rightly or wrongly, but nevertheless an integral and indispensable part of the N.A.T.O. alliance, is to be treated as a pariah at the same time as she is treated as an ally. I repeat that that is an impossible position. If we do not accept the logic of that, we must go all the way and say that the whole N.A.T.O. policy is an impossible one.

I turn for a moment to nuclear arms. As my right hon. Friend the Member for Belper (Mr. G. Brown) has said on several occasions, our opposition to nuclear arms for Germany is not discrimination against Germany. We oppose it because, rightly or wrongly, we are opposed to nuclear arms being diffused through the N.A.T.O. alliance at all, including this country. That may be right or wrong, but it is a perfectly logical position to take. We are not opposed to the diffusion of conventional arms. On the contrary, I for my part—I think the overwhelming majority of my hon. and right hon. Friends take the same view—believe that the strengthening of the conventional arms of the N.A.T.O. alliance is, in the short run at any rate, the most important contribution to peace which there can possibly be. Year after year, we have criticised the Government repeatedly for being far too nuclear in their defence policy. From the famous—I would say infamous—White Paper of 1958 onwards, their policy has been to rely far too much on nuclear weapons.

In the strengthening of the conventional forces of N.A.T.O., whether we like it or not, the strengthening of the German contingent and its proper training is an indispensable part. It is quite impossible for those of us who regard the conventional strength of N.A.T.O. as exceedingly important in order to avoid the intolerable dilemma of either surrender or blowing up the world to oppose the training of one particular and indispensable part of the N.A.T.O. conventional forces.

I ask my hon. Friends who oppose this Motion to remember that the real effect of their opposition, if it were to succeed, would be to throw the N.A.T.O. alliance back far more than it is today—and it is too much so already--on to dependence on nuclear weapons. It is these broader considerations which must weigh with us and, we believe, make it impossible for us to oppose the Order, and with which, it seems to us, the Minister of Defence should deal, rather than the details which are not of the first importance, surely, of this particular proposal in South Wales.

11.28 p.m.

The Minister of Defence (Mr. Harold Watkinson)

In courtesy, I must deal with one or two of the details, because I know that they are of great concern to hon. Members who, after all, have a constituency or local interest. I shall then return to the big issue. Although I spoke quietly, designedly, in my opening remarks—I did not wish to raise more emotion than I knew was already present—it will be found, I think, that I did then pose what I believe is the real choice before the House. I shall return to it shortly.

First, the details. The range itself will be in charge of a lieutenant-colonel, in other words, a senior officer. That meets the point made by the hon. Member for Aberavon (Mr. Morris). All German range officers will be duplicated by British range officers. This is to give the element of safety.

Hon. Members have tried to suggest that it is easy to find 5,000 acres in Germany for a training and firing area. This is not so. One has also to have a safe range area over a large distance of sea, and it is not so easy to find that in Germany. A most searching examination was made by N.A.T.O.—not by us and not by the Germans—of the range training areas available, and it was forced to the conclusion that Castle-martin was the only available place where this elementary training could be done.

In answer to the right hon. Member for Belper (Mr. G. Brown), I do not know the numbers, but it was proved to us in the Paris talks that there was an increasing number of German troops who were not able to have proper training because of the lack of range facilities. The proof of this, I think, is that the Germans are willing to put themselves to a good deal of expense and trouble to come here. They have their own fears and doubts about the exercise, too, Of course, N.A.T.O., including ourselves, has over 200,000 acres in occupation in Germany for training of one kind and another. Therefore, on the details and on the military facts, an absolutely clear and irrefutable case was made for the use of this range.

As to the requirements of the Visiting Forces Act, there have been detailed consultations with the police. It will clearly mean that German soldiers, like Americans, Canadians, Norwegians or anybody else here, off duty will be subject to the ordinary processes of the British law. On duty, they will be under the proper control of their own officers and, therefore, can be controlled and disciplined. On the whole, that is the right balance.

Concerning claims for compensation, road access and other matters, I have covered the main points made by the hon. Member for Pembroke (Mr. Donnelly). I will write him about his more detailed points.

I come now to the main point, which was made by both the right hon. Member for Belper and the right hon. Member for Dundee, West (Mr. Strachey)—it is a vital point for this House and for all of us—of whether we mean to stand by the N.A.T.O. alliance or whether we do not. We cannot examine this German problem unless we examine it in that context. I support those hon. Members, both on this side and on the benches opposite, who have made one thing plain. It is a fact that the Federal Republic of West Germany now has large armed forces. An hon. Member has just said that they should be twelve divisions, and they will be; that is the N.A.T.O. requirement.

They are there. The choice that this House and the country has to make is whether we want them integrated in the N.A.T.O. alliance. Do we want them to draw more closely into a pattern of alliance that makes it much more difficult for any one country to take independent action? If people do not accept the military alliance and integration, perhaps they will accept the clear political control which the N.A.T.O. Council has over all the actions of the military.

General Norstad, as SACEUR, and Admiral Dennison, as SACLANT, have always said what is clearly true: they are entirely subject to the orders of the N.A.T.O. Council, on which fifteen democratic nations are represented. I do not see what better safeguard there can be, even for those hon. Members belong the Gangway who are very sincere, no doubt, in their emotions. They cannot have a better safeguard, if they want one, against a revanchist Germany than that. But I do not look at it that way, and what I want to say in closing is this.

Mr. Parkin rose

Mr. Watkinson

No, I will finish my remarks. The N.A.T.O. alliance is an alliance of equals. It is an alliance in which, if N.A.T.O. takes a decision, it is a great blow to the alliance if it is not carried out. We would be going absolutely against the whole N.A.T.O. policy, against a decision of N.A.T.O., if we now refused these rights to the Germans. Therefore, in my view, although this may be a small action on its own, taken in the broader context refusal on our part would mean that Great Britain was not prepared to play her full part in the alliance.

As, I believe, it is the alliance that stands between us and a third world war—it has no aggressive intent, but it stands there as a shield against anybody else who wants to break the peace by aggression—this of all times is the wrong time for our island not to show that we support N.A.T.O., that we will bear our responsibilities and that we will play our full part in helping our N.A.T.O. partners.

Therefore, we have no opportunity to do other than take this responsibility, difficult though it is. I hope that, as the hon. Member for Sheffield, Attercliffe (Mr. J. Hynd) said. it is carried through properly and that we give these young men a fair and honest welcome, because they play no part in this old controversy. I hope that it is in that sense that the House will pass the Order, be done with this business and try to get on with the job of keeping the peace and strengthening the N.A.T.O. alliance.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Martin Redmayne) rose in his place, and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.

Question put, That the Question be now put:—

Division No. 254.1 AYES [11.35 p.m.
Agnew, Sir Peter Goodhew, Victor Percival, Ian
Allason James Grant-Ferris, Wg. Cdr. R. Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth
Atkins, Humphrey Green, Alan Pitt, Miss Edith
Balniel, Lord Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G. Pott, Percivall
Batsford, Brian Hall, John (Wycombe) Profumo, Rt. Hon. John
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough) Proudfoot, Wilfred
Biggs-Davison, John Harris, Reader (Heston) Pym, Francis
Bingham, R. M. Harvie Anderson, Miss Quennell, Miss J. M.
Bishop, F. P. Hastings, Stephen Ramsden, James
Black, Sir Cyril Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel Rawlinson, Peter
Bossom, Clive Hendry, Forbes Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin
Bourne-Arton, A. Hiley, Joseph Rees, Hugh
Box, Donald Hill, j. E. B. (S. Norfolk) Ridley, Hon. Nicholas
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. John Hirst, Geoffrey Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)
Brewis, John Holland, Philip Robinson, Sir Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Browne, Percy (Torrington) Hopkins, Alan Roots, William
Bryan, Paul Hornby, R. P. Russell, Ronald
Buck, Antony Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hon. Patricia Scott-Hopkins, James
Bullard, Denys Hughes-Young, Michael Shaw, M.
Campbell, Cordon (Moray & Nairn) Hurd, Sir Anthony Skeet, T. H. H.
Channon, H. P. G. Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'rd & Chiswick)
Chataway, Christopher Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Smithers, Peter
Chichester-Clark, R. Johnson Smith, Geoffrey Speir, Rupert
Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.) Kerr, Sir Hamilton Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)
Clark, William (Nottingham, S.) Kershaw, Anthony Studholme, Sir Henry
Cleaver, Leonard Kirk, Peter Summers, Sir Spencer (Aylesbury)
Cooke, Robert Kitson, Timothy Teeling, William
Corfield, F. V. Leather, E. H. C. Turner, Colin
Courtney, Cdr. Anthony Leavey, J. A. Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
Craddock, Sir Beresford Leburn, Gilmour Vane, W. M. F.
Curran, Charles Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hon. Sir John
Currie, G. B. H. Linstead, Sir Hugh Vosper, Rt. Hon. Dennis
Dance, James Longden, Gilbert Walder, David
Deedes, W. F. Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Walker, Peter
de Ferranti, Basil McLaughlin, Mrs. Patricia Wad, Patrick
Doughty, Charles Maddan, Martin Ward, Dame Irene
du Cann, Edward Maginnis, John E. watkinson, Rt. Hon. Harold
Duncan, Sir James Matthews, Gordon (Meriden) Webster, David
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) Mawby, Ray Wells, John (Maidstone)
Elliott, R.W. (Nwcstle-upon-Tyne, N.) Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Whitelaw, William
Errington, Sir Eric Mills, Stratton Williams, Dudley (Exeter)
Farr, John More, Jasper (Ludlow) Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Finlay, Graeme Morgan, William Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Fisher, Nigel Noble, Michael Woodhouse, C. M.
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Oakshott, Sir Hendrie Woollam, John
Gammans, Lady Osborn, John (Hallam) Worsley, Marcus
Gardner, Edward Page, John (Harrow, West)
Gibson-Watt, David Page, Graham (Crosby) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Glover, Sir Douglas Partridge, E. Mr. Edward Wakefield and.
Glyn, Sir Richard (Dorset, N.) Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe) Colonel Sir Harwood Harrison
Goodhart, Philip Peel, John
Abse, Leo Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.) Ross, William
Allaun, Frank (Salford, E.) Hannan, William Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Baxter, William (Stirlingshire, W.) Herbison, Miss Margaret Small, William
Bowden, Herbert W. (Leics, S.W.) Houghton, Douglas Steele, Thomas
Brockway, A. Fenner Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Strachey, Rt. Hon. John
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper) Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Swingler, Stephen
Castle, Mrs. Barbara Hynd, John (Attercliffe) Warbey, William
Davies, Harold (Leek) Irvine, A. J. (Edge Hill) Weitzman, David
Davies, 8. o. (Merthyr) Lawson, George Wilkins, W. A.
Diamond, John Mclnnes, James Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton)
Donnelly, Desmond Mayhew, Christopher Winterbottom, R. E.
Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale) Milne, Edward J. Yates, Victor (Ladywood)
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Mitchison, G. R.
Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. c. Parkin, B. T. TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Greenwood, Anthony Pavitt, Laurence Mr. Charles A. Howell and
Griffiths, W. (Exchange) Plummer, Sir Leslie Mr. Ifor Davies.
Grimond, J. Reynolds, C. W.

Question put accordingly:—

The House divided: Ayes 148, Noes. 46.

The House divided: Ayes 148, Noes 10.

Bossom, Clive Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Pitt, Miss Edith
Bourne-Arton, A. Harvie Anderson, Miss Pott, Percivall
Box, Donald Hastings, Stephen Profumo, Rt. Hon. John
Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. John Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Lionel Proudfoot, Wilfred
Brewis, John Hendry, Forbes Pym, Francis
Browne, Percy (Torrington) Hiley, Joseph Quennell, Miss J. M.
Bryan, Paul Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk) Ramsden, James
Buck, Antony Hirst, Geoffrey Rawlinson, Peter
Bullard, Denys Holland, Philip Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin
Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn) Hopkins, Alan Rees, Hugh
Channon, H. P. G. Hornby, R. P. Ridley, Hon. Nicholas
Chataway, Christopher Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hon. Patricia Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)
Chichester-Clark, B. Hughes-Young, Michael Robinson, sir Roland (Blackpool, S.)
Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.) Hurd, Sir Anthony Roots, William
Clark, William (Nottingham, S.) Jenkins, Robert (Dulwich) Russell, Ronald
Cleaver, Leonard Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Scott-Hopkins, James
Cooke, Robert Johnson Smith, Geoffrey Shaw, M.
Corfield, F. V. Kerr, Sir Hamilton Skeet, T. H. H.
Courtney, cdr. Anthony Kershaw, Anthony Smith, Dudley(Br'ntf'rd & Chiswick)
Craddock, Sir Beresford Kirk, Peter Smithers, Peter
Curran, Charles Kitson, Timothy Speir, Rupert
Currie, G. B. H. Leather, E. H. C. Steward, Harold (Stockport, S.)
Dance, James Leavey, J. A. Studholme, Sir Henry
Deedes, W. F. Leburn, Gilmour Summers, Sir Spencer (Aylesbury)
de Ferranti, Basil Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Teeling, William
Doughty, Charles Linstead, Sir Hugh Turner, Colin
du Cann, Edward Longden, Gilbert Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
Duncan, Sir James Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Vane, W. M. F.
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) McLaughlin, Mrs. Patricia Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hon. Sir John
Elliott, R.W. (Nwcstle-upon-Tyne, N.) Maddan, Martin Vosper, Rt. Hon. Dennis
Errington, Sir Eric Maginnis, John E. Wakefield, Edward (Derbyshire, W.)
Farr, John Matthews, Gordon (Meriden) Walder, David
Fisher, Nigel Mawby, Ray Walker, Peter
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Wall, Patrick
Gammans, Lady Mills, Stratton Ward, Dame Irene
Gardner, Edward More, Jasper (Ludlow) Watkinson, Rt. Hon. Harold
Glover, Sir Douglas Morgan, William Webster, David
Glyn, Sir Richard (Dorset, N.) Noble, Michael Wells, John (Maidstone)
Goodhart, Philip Oakshott, Sir Hendrie Whitelaw, William
Goodhew, Victor Osborn, John (Hallam) Williams, Dudley (Exeter)
Grant-Ferris, Wg Cdr. R. Page, John (Harrow, West) Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Green, Alan Page, Graham (Crosby) Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Grimond, J. Par[...]ridge, E. Woodhouse, C. M.
Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G. Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe) Woollam, John
Hall, John (Wycombe) Peel, John Worsley, Marcus
Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough) Percival, Ian
Harris, Reader (Heston) Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Mr. Finlay and Mr. Gibson-Watt.
Abse, Leo Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.)
Baxter, William (Stirlingshire, W.) Silverman, Sydney (Nelson) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Brockway, A. Fenner Warbey, William Mr. Michael Foot and
Davies, Harold (Leek) Weitzman, David Mr. Emrys Hughes.
Davies, s. o. (Merthyr) Yates, Victor (Ladywood)

Resolved, That the Visiting Forces (Application of Law) Order, 1961, a draft of which was laid before this House on 12th July, be approved.