HC Deb 16 May 1962 vol 659 cc1324-5
20. Mr. Reynolds

asked the Minister of Defence to what extent the commitment of five Polaris submarines to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mentioned in paragraph 8 of the recent North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Council communiqué will affect existing arrangements for consultation on and control and command of the Polaris submarines.

Mr. Watkinson

The existing arrangements for joint decision by Her Majesty's Government and the United States' Government on the use of Polaris submarines are not affected. The assigning of submarines to N.A.T.O. in war would mean that they would then in addition come under N.A.T.O. control arrangements.

Mr. Willis

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that these facilities were provided in 1960 and that he informed the House that they were provided on the basis that they were of very great importance for a limited period? As a result of the additional submarines, has any change been made of the length of time we can expect those facilities to be made available?

Mr. Watkinson

No. I do not think the decision announced in Athens by the United States makes any difference to existing arrangements.

Forward to