HC Deb 21 December 1960 vol 632 cc163-4W
62. Mr. Burden

asked the Minister of Defence to make a further statement about a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation integrated air defence system.

Mr. Watkinson

The speed and range of modern aircraft are such that N.A.T.O. Europe now needs a unified air defence system and the North Atlantic Council has recently agreed that such a system should be set up. Under this system, the United Kingdom will form one of four N.A.T.O. air defence regions and thus Fighter Command will come under SACEUR's command. The scheme provides safeguards to protect the national interests of the N.A.T.O. nations taking part. Under these safeguards, national authorities retain the right to decide the size, composition, rôle and deployment of their air defence forces assigned to SACEUR.