HC Deb 11 March 1971 vol 813 c562
13. Mr. Scott-Hopkins

asked the Minister of State for Defence whether combined training exercises will be held in the Far East in 1971.

Lord Balniel

There will be combined Navy, Army and Air Force exercises, some of which will include participation by our Commonwealth partners. After 1971, it is expected that combined exercises under the new Five Power arrangements will take place from time to time.

Mr. Scott-Hopkins

Does my hon. Friend agree that, following last year's exercise, it is essential that troops should be acclimatised before taking part in such exercises and, therefore, that it would be much better to have the maximum number of troops as possible at any one time in the theatre? In view of that, the quicker the turnover and the more troops who can go there, the better.

Lord Balniel

I agree that acclimatisation is very important. We shall ensure that as many exercises as possible are held; and they will involve jungle warfare training.

Mr. Kaufman

Would not Chieftain tanks get all the desert training that they needed if the Government's silly ban on selling them to Israel were lifted?

Lord Balniel

There is no intention to use Chieftain tanks in jungle warfare training.