HC Deb 18 July 1966 vol 732 cc19-20
19. Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why he raised no objection to the appointment of General Johann Adolf Graf von Kielmansegg as the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Central Europe Commander.

Mr. George Thomson

General Kielmansegg was previously Commander of the Allied Land Forces in Central Europe. His appointment followed the usual N.A.T.O. procedure.

Mrs. Short

Does not my right hon. Friend occasionally feel some qualms that so many top jobs in N.A.T.O. are being occupied by former Nazi officers? Does he not feel it distasteful that British troops should be under the control of this man? Did not my right hon. Friend suggest that an officer from another nation should take this job when it became vacant? If not, why not?

Mr. Thomson

The position in regard to this post was that, as part of the streamlining of N.A.T.O. and the economy in expenditure which I hope my hon. Friend will approve, three posts in this command have been turned into one post. In view of the large German contribution to the N.A.T.O. forces in Central Europe, it seemed appropriate that the German Deputy-Commander should take over the single post which was left.

Mr. Eldon Griffiths

The hon. Lady the Member for Wolverhampton, North-East (Mrs. Renée Short) suggested that N.A.T.O.'s land commander is a former Nazi.

Mrs. Short

He is.

Mr. Griffiths

Should not the hon. Lady substantiate that allegation?

Mrs. Short

She can.

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