HC Deb 11 March 1971 vol 813 cc577-8
41. Mr. Brian Walden

asked the Minister of State for Defence on what date he expects to announce the appointment of a successor to the present Chief of the General Staff.

Lord Balniel

The announcement was made on 30th April, 1970.

Mr. Walden

I am sure that the noble Lord appreciates the difficulty of questioning him on this subject. As he has answered Questions in the past about the Chief of the General Staff, may I, through him, congratulate the present occupant of this office on his retirement and wish him a long and happy one? Could it be made quite clear to his successor that the duties of this office do not include the making of statements about a British presence in Vietnam?

Lord Balniel

I, too, congratulate the present Chief of the General Staff on the service that he had rendered to the country during his tenure of office, and send him good wishes on his retirement. It is a well-established principle that statements affecting policy are made by Her Majesty's Ministers, and the C.G.S 's statement did not in any way offend against this principle.