HC Deb 22 May 1968 vol 765 cc90-1W
62. Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for Defence to what extent the Government's policy of reducing the forces and defence costs will be affected by the recent proposal to increase by 40 per cent. Great Britain's commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the increase of 20,000 more troops, additional ships and aircraft; whether the extra £500,000 per annum for training costs will affect payments in foreign currency; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Healey

The improvements in our force contributions to N.A.T.O. reflect the Government's declared policy of concentrating our defence effort mainly in Europe and the North Atlantic area and will in no way affect the achievement of the defence economies which were the subject of the Prime Minister's statement on 16th January. The greater part of the additional training costs will be in foreign currency. To this must be added other foreign exchange expenditure arising from the improved contributions but the grand total will fall short of £1 million. I have nothing further to add to the very full statement made by the Minister for Administration in reply to a similar Question asked on 10th May.— [Vol. 764, c.151–3.]