§ 16. Mr. Shinwell
asked the Lord Privy Seal whether, before further revision of the Brussels Treaty is considered which has the effect of increasing the military strength of the Federal Republic of Germany, he will bring the proposal before the House for its endorsement.
§ 28. Mr. Swingler
asked the Lord Privy Seal what are the latest proposals for raising the limits on German rearmament in the Brussels Treaty submitted to Western European Union; and if he will give an assurance that Her Majesty's Government will not consent to any further increases in German military strength until the House of Commons has had an opportunity to debate the matter.
§ Mr. Shinwell
Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that that is no answer at all? Does he not agree that since the Brussels Treaty was first made there has been a drastic revision of all the provisions in that Treaty, and that Western Germany has now become the strongest military Power in Europe? Would he not agree that in a matter of this sort the House ought to be consulted before any further revision of the Treaty is made?
§ Mr. Heath
There have been four amendments to the Brussels Treaty, as the right hon. Gentleman knows. As I said in answer to my hon. Friend, the procedure for making these amendments is laid down. There is no obligation on the Government to secure ratification for these amendments. If the right hon. Gentleman wishes to have the matter discussed in the House of Commons, that is a matter to be arranged in the usual way.
§ Mr. Swingler
Does not the Lord Privy Seal agree that a substantial change has been made since the Brussels Treaty was negotiated? How does he justify the Government taking dictatorial powers in this matter and consenting to Western Germany becoming the dominant military Power in Western Europe? Has not the Government an obligation to the House of Commons to consult the House about a change of policy?
§ Mr. Heath
Her Majesty's Government have taken no dictatorial powers in this matter. It is well known that there are a large number of international agreements on which it is not necessary to secure ratification from Parliament. If the right hon. Gentleman wants to debate the matter, that is a matter to be arranged in the usual way.
§ Mr. Shinwell
Have not the right hon. Gentleman and his Government consented to Western Germany becoming the strongest military Power in Europe, and is not that a matter to be considered by hon. Members opposite? Why 933 does the right hon. Gentleman talk about me arranging for a debate, when he knows that I have no power in this matter?