HC Deb 03 August 1966 vol 733 c437
2. Mr. Wall

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the planning and preparation of an Anglo-Australian base on the continent of Australia.

The Secretary of State for Defence (Mr. Denis Healey)

No, Sir. I have nothing to add to the answers given to my hon. Friend the Member for West Lothian (Mr. Dalyell) on 27th April, and to my hon. Friend the Member for Heywood and Royton (Mr. Barnett) on 22nd June.

Mr. Wall

As our position in Singapore depends on the local, now independent, Government, and as we have commitments to defend Australia and commitments to S.E.A.T.O., are these discussions being pressed forward rapidly?

Mr. Healey

Discussions are proceeding at the official level, and we are exploring what facilities it would be possible to provide, at what cost, how soon, and for what forces, should the need arise. But the need has not yet arisen.