§ 19. Mr. Hal Miller
asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether any consultations have been held with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies about possible changes in priorities of the United Kingdom's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation roles.
§ Mr. Miller
Will my right hon. Friend confirm that any change in our NATO commitment or role would require not only consultation with our allies but their consent?
§ Mr. Marks
Has the Secretary of State discussed with our NATO allies the gross disparity between the proportion that this country pays and that which other 150 European countries pay towards NATO? Are not we taking on too many commitments? Does the Secretary of State regard it as fair that we contribute more than Germany and France, which have a higher gross national product?
§ Mr. Nott
Apart from very small sums of money for items such as infrastructure, which are NATO-funded, we do not contribute anything to NATO. We contribute to our own defence, which is a quite different matter. Our defence is part of the collective defence of NATO but we do not contribute to NATO in the way that the hon. Gentleman suggests.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
Does my right hon. Friend agree that a primarily underwater fleet would not be the best way to safeguard NATO's convoy lines?
§ Mr. Leighton
Will the Minister explain whether there is any connection between these changes in priorities and the resignation of one of his principal colleagues.