HC Deb 21 July 1965 vol 716 cc1564-5
19. Mr. Bence

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the future rôle of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Mr. Healey

I have nothing to add to the Answer which the Prime Minister gave to my hon. Friend on 13th May.

Mr. Bence

When considering economies in our defence expenditure, will my right hon. Friend please do what he can to see if in this alliance, an important one which most people in the country support, some economies can be made?

Mr. Healey

Yes, Sir. Her Majesty's Government regard the N.A.T.O. Alliance as the foundation of this country's security and the firmest guarantee of our survival in the atomic age, but, as I have said, we hope to distribute the burden more fairly, bearing in mind the many burdens which Britain is carrying alone outside the N.A.T.O. area.

Sir J. Langford-Holt

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Prime Minister lent his name to a poster with a photograph which said, "No matter what they call it, no N.A.T.O. nuclear force"? Is that still the policy of Her Majesty's Government?

Mr. Healey

I think the hon. Gentleman is confusing a poster issued by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament with an election poster which stated the promises the Labour Party has carried out since it took office.