HC Deb 14 June 1961 vol 642 cc414-5
23. Mr. Frank Allaun

asked the Minister of Defence what are the new commitments of British Armed Forces in an emergency situation in Berlin.

Mr. Watkinson

We recognise the obligations we assumed in Berlin at the end of the Second World War and we intend to stand by them. There is, therefore, no question of new commitments.

Mr. Allaun

Has the Minister read the detailed and unrepudiated report in the New York Herald Tribune that there is a new plan which would include the seizure of the East German control post at Helmstedt? Does not he think that this type of military action might precipitate world war?

Mr. Watkinson

I am not responsible for what appears in American newspapers.

Mr. Cronin

Bearing in mind that the British forces in Berlin are doing a very good job in difficult circumstances, will the Minister reassure the House that, in the event of an emergency situation developing, their supplies and communications are adequate?

Mr. Watkinson

I am very carefully looking into that. Perhaps I may repeat what I said in the West German Rathaus when I was there last week, that British forces will stay in West Berlin so long as they are necessary.

Forward to