asked Her Majesty's Government:
- (i) What action, if any, is proposed as the result of the Bonn Government's reported attempt to evade their obligations regarding the upkeep of British and Allied troops in Germany as agreed in one of the Instruments regulating the end of the Occupation of Germany (Article 2 of the Finance Convention)
- (ii) Whether the terms of the Conscription Bill announced on 8th February by the Bonn Government appear satisfactory to Her Majesty's Government, and
- (iii) If not, what action is proposed with or without French or American co-operation.
THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (THE MARQUESS OF READING)
As regards the first part of the Question no issue arises under Article 2 of the Finance Convention. But the Federal German Government are committed under paragraph 4 of Article 4 of the Finance Convention to negotiate on further support for the Forces. The matter is being pursued through the diplomatic channel and it is expected that formal negotiations will begin shortly in Bonn. As regards the second and third parts of the Question, this Bill is part of the legislation for the German Armed Forces which is required in order to enable the Federal Republic to fulfil its commitments as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. The terms of the Bill are a matter for the Federal German Government and it would be inappropriate for Her Majesty's Government to comment on them. In any case, these terms have still to be discussed in both Houses of the Federal Parliament and it is not expected that the Law will be passed for some time. The third part of the Question does not therefore arise.
House adjourned at five minutes past seven o'clock.