§ 3.24 p.m.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any portion of the United States Strategic Air Force, which is outside the N.A.T.O. structure, is based in the United Kingdom.]
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF DEFENCE (LORD CARRINGTON)
Yes, my Lords. Bomber formations of the United States Strategic Air Command and supporting aircraft are based in this country on a system of rotation.
Do I understand, then, that there are units of the United States Strategic Air Force based in this country?
May I thank the noble Lord for his Answer, and may I ask him under whose orders those units based in this country operate? Do they operate directly under the orders of the United States Strategic Air Force Command in Omaha, Nebraska?
§ LORD CARRINGTON
Perhaps the best way I can answer the noble Viscount is to remind him of the joint Anglo-American communiqué issued in 1952. This said:Under arrangements made for the common defence the United States has the use of certain bases in the United Kingdom. We reaffirm the understanding that the use of these bases in an emergency would be a matter for joint decision by Her Majesty's Government and the United States Government in the light of the circumstances prevailing at the time.
Does that statement refer to the Strategic Air Command of the United States as well as to other Commands in this country?