HC Deb 18 January 1967 vol 739 cc58-9W
51. Mr. Shinwell

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the nature of economies likely to be effected in British forces now in Germany.

Mr. Denis Healey

Steps are being taken to reduce personal expenditure in deutschemarks, and certain administrative and logistic savings, not affecting the combat capability of our forces in Germany, are being made.

56. Mr. Wyatt

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will undertake a study as to the numbers of British Service men now required in Germany to provide an adequate defence for this country.

Mr. Healey

The safety of this country depends primarily upon the ability of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to deter war in Europe. Our military contribution to N.A.T.O. is kept under regular review.

Mr. Kershaw

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what is the present strength of the British Army of the Rhine; and what is his estimate of its strength on 1st July, 1967.

Mr. Healey

The present strength is about 51,500: as we have agreed to make no changes in troop dispositions in Germany while the tripartite talks continue, I would not expect any significant alteration in the strength of B.A.O.R. at 1st July.

Mr. Frank Allaun

asked the Secretary of State for Defence how much of the £5 million a year saving planned by him in the British Army of the Rhine troops' personal spending in foreign exchange has so far been achieved; how much of it will be secured in the next six months; and what measures he is taking to achieve it.

Mr. Reynolds

The Armed Forces in Germany are being actively encouraged to buy goods and services of British origin in preference to foreign wherever possible. N.A.A.F.I. shops are being enlarged and foreign sources of supply, notably in the clothing and food ranges, will be replaced. Other measures are being investigated. The aim is that by the autumn, savings in personal foreign currency expenditure will be running at an annual rate of £5 million.