HC Deb 01 May 1968 vol 763 cc1097-8
34. Mr. Moyle

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether the transfer of the brigade so earmarked from Germany to the United Kingdom has been completed.

53. Mr. Cronin

asked the Secretary of State for Defence when the transfer of a brigade from Germany to the United Kingdom will be completed.

Mr. Boyden

The transfer was completed in March.

Mr. Moyle

Will my hon. Friend agree that this brigade will remain an integral part of the Rhine Army when it is transferred? If so, will he agree that this cannot be regarded as a reduction in land forces in Central Europe? If this is so, why do we need the agreement of our allies before we transfer this or any other brigade from Germany to this country?

Mr. Boyden

To the first two parts of the Question, Yes, Sir, Yes, Sir. Concerning the third, this is in accordance with international agreements.

Mr. Cronin

In view of the disturbing trend of political events in Germany recently, can my hon. Friend give an assurance that there will be no further substantial reduction of our influence in Germany by reducing the British forces there?

Mr. Boyden

My right hon. Friend dealt with that very thoroughly in the defence debate.

Mr. Ramsden

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that much of the accommodation of this brigade in the North of England, particularly that in or near his own constituency, has been considered substandard for many years? What is being done to improve the standard of accommodation which this brigade has had to accept?

Mr. Boyden

A lot of improvements are taking place, I can assure the right hon. Gentleman. I am going there tomorrow to see for myself how much further work is necessary.

Mr. Orme

Is my hon. Friend aware that there is still need for considerable reduction in B.A.O.R. forces and that the money that Britain is spending on these forces can be ill-afforded? Has my hon. Friend anything to say about further withdrawals?

Mr. Boyden

I am sure that my hon. Friend knows that my right hon. Friend dealt with this very thoroughly in the defence debate not so long ago.