HC Deb 07 March 1962 vol 655 cc400-1
42. Mr. Lipton

asked the Secretary of State for War who will pay the cost of training French paratroops in this country.

Mr. Profumo

This visit is not yet definitely arranged, but we would follow the normal practice and invite the French Government to pay the extra costs arising from the participation of their troops, for example for food, petrol and other consumer items.

Mr. Frank Allaun


Mr. Lipton

While, of course, recognising the Government's need to earn foreign exchange by whatever means become available, is it not ridiculous that we should extend the practice of training foreign troops here and sending our troops to be trained abroad? Would it not be cheaper and more sensible if each country trained its own troops in its own territory?

Mr. Profumo

I cannot agree with the hon. Gentleman. I am quite sure that diversification of training is a very important item in our curriculum. It is only an extension of interchangeability of training between the N.A.T.O. countries, which I am quite convinced is the right thing to do.

Mrs. Castle

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that public opinion in this country would deeply deplore these French paratroopers being brought into this country to brainwash our own troops in the kind of brutal behaviour for which these paratroopers have made a name for themselves in Algeria and elsewhere?

Mr. Profumo

Whatever the hon. Lady's private views may be, I do not believe that she represents general public opinion in this country.

Mr. Kershaw

Is it not undesirable that so often we have from some benches opposite general support for N.A.T.O. and during the rest of the time we have these individual insults to our allies.