HC Deb 13 November 1969 vol 791 c608
3. Mr. William Hamilton

asked the Prime Minister if he will now invite the Chancellor of West Germany to pay an official visit to the United Kingdom.

The Prime Minister

I certainly hope to meet Herr Brandt before long. My right hon. Friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary will be seeing him in Bonn tomorrow.

Mr. Hamilton

Would the Prime Minister convey to the new Chancellor, at least on behalf of hon. Members on this side of the House, our congratulations? Will he call his attention to the relative defence burden of our two nations, as outlined by Mr. Catherwood on 9th November, with a view to obtaining further relief of the defence offset costs which we bear in Germany?

The Prime Minister

I am sure that not only on this side of the House but in all parts of the House hon. and right hon. Gentlemen who have had the pleasure of dealing with Herr Brandt will wish to offer congratulations and best wishes to him in the very important task which he has taken on. Defence burdens have been a continuing problem and have been frequently discussed in defence debates in the House. My hon. Friend will be glad to know that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence has already discussed mutual defence problems with Herr Helmut Schmidt, the new German Minister of Defence.

Mr. Lane

Would the right hon. Gentleman also convey to Herr Brandt how welcome to many of us is the stress he has already laid on the desirability of British entry into the Common Market?

The Prime Minister

There has never been any question about Herr Brandt's views on this matter and the vigour with which he has been pressing this within the Six.