HC Deb 05 April 1965 vol 710 cc28-9
35. Sir H. Harrison

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will invite the Barbados Regiment to this country for its annual fortnight's training.

Mr. Mulley

No, Sir. I understand that the regiment has already made arrangements to train locally this year.

Sir H. Harrison

If it is too late this year, would the Minister consider asking this regiment another year, because we have had very close contact with this island over a great many years and members of the regiment have no chance to train on their island with other arms?

Mr. Mulley

I am prepared to consider such a proposal, but I would point out to the hon. and gallant Gentleman that the cost would be very considerable and that I should need to be convinced that the training justified it.

Mr. Emrys Hughes

What colour are these troops from the Barbados? May we be assured that if they come here and walk about in civilian dress they will not be thrown out as undesirable aliens?

Mr. Mulley

I would not expect any action of that kind, but, if my hon. Friend is dissatisfied about the way in which Commonwealth citizens are treated here, I am not the Minister responsible for that.

Dame Joan Vickers

Does the right hon. Gentleman remember that when the last war was declared Barbados was one of the first Commonwealth countries to send a signal—"Barbados is behind you"—to this country?

Mr. Mulley

I am sure that the House will be eternally grateful for the great support which we had from Barbados, and, of course, from all parts of the Commonwealth, in our hour of great trial.