§ 2.44 p.m.
§ The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government what proposals have been made in NATO or to NATO Governments by the United States Government about direct or indirect offset funding for their Rapid Deployment Force facilities at Ras Banas in Egypt, and whether Ras Banas is within the NATO area.
§ The Minister of State for Defence and Procurement (Viscount Trenchard)
My Lords, no such proposals have been made by the United States Government to NATO or to Her Majesty's Government, and I am not aware of any having been made to other NATO Governments. Ras Banas is not within the NATO area.
§ Lord Kennet
My Lords, given that the proposed American quick reaction force looks like being able to call upon something like a quarter of a million men, can the Government say whether any NATO involvement in the operation of the logistics of this force will be preceded by a full debate in Parliament and in public in this country?
§ Viscount Trenchard
My Lords, so far as Her Majesty's Government are concerned, they have made statements at various times, of which I know the noble Lord is aware, on the support which we give to the Rapid Deployment Force and the fact that support in permanent and assigned kind can be only very small indeed. I have nothing new to say on that subject. This afternoon I shall in the debate before us be talking a little about out of area questions.