§ Mr. Hooley
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what progress is being made with developing a long-range British military capability that can operate outside the NATO area.
§ Mr. Hooley
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Government are making Britain look ridiculous in the eyes of the world? He is posturing that we can police the high seas of the Indian Ocean, while the Chief Secretary to the Treasury is telling him that he will not even pay for the paraffin that is necessary for the exercise. Is it not time that we gave up these absurd pretentions to great Power status?
§ Mr. Pym
I am not posturing in any such way, as the hon. Gentleman knows. It is impossible for any country to defend itself by itself. Defence can be undertaken only on a collective basis. Every country must appreciate that it is interdependent on every other country. We must all contribute to the whole whatever is appropriate. Owing to our history and circumstances, we have certain capabilities that it is appropriate to make available. I have always described them as modest. I wish that they were less modest. I have to face the facts of what we are able to do. It is because our capabilities are modest that it is all the more important that we co-operate with our allies throughout the world, so that between us we continue to preserve the peace.
§ Mr. Nicholas Winterton
Will my right hon. Friend explain to Labour Members below the Gangway that Britain requires vital raw materials that come from all parts of the world, that to guarantee the safe arrival of raw materials that are vital for manufacturing industry we must have defence forces stationed throughout the world, and that if we are to do that we must co-operate with other Western countries that share our love of freedom?