HC Deb 12 April 1967 vol 744 cc1182-3
14. Mr. Kershaw

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many training areas there are in the United Kingdom where an armoured brigade group may train as a whole; where they are; and what plans he has for acquiring more such areas.

Mr. Boyden

A limited brigade group exercise can be carried out on the Salisbury Plain training area. Until a decision has been taken on withdrawals of troops from Germany the need for additional land for tracked vehicle training does not arise.

Mr. Kershaw

Does the hon. Gentleman agree that this raises another serious question? What kind of an Army does he want? Does he not realise that unless we have adequate training areas we shall not be able to have a modern Army in future?

Mr. Boyden

We have a good Army. We shall keep it, and go on improving it.

Mrs. Gwyneth Dunwoody

Is my hon. Friend aware that many people who live in areas where the Army has taken over large parts of national parks are concerned that it should not have more land, and that in fact we would like it to give up some of the land which it possesses?

Mr. Boyden

The Army and Army Ministers are conscious of this clash of interest.

Mr. Powell

Will it not be necessary to send back to Germany for training any armoured or other formations withdrawn to this country?

Mr. Boyden

That is a possibility.