HC Deb 26 November 1974 vol 882 c93W
3. Mr. Pardoe

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will estimate from international sources available to him the annual defence expenditure of the USSR, the Warsaw Pact countries, the United States of America and the combined EEC countries; and what estimate he has made of the savings that could be made by the standardisation of tactical defensive and conventional weaponry within NATO.

Mr. Mason

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Haltemprice (Mr. Wall) on Friday 22nd November. Strict comparisons are, however, impossible because of the difficulties in calculating realistic exchange rates, and of making adjustments which adequately reflect the fact that the Warsaw Pact Powers impose conditions of service in their forces which would not be tolerable in the West. Greater standardisation on appropriate weapons and equipment could lead in due course to important savings in procurement expenditure by NATO countries as well as offering direct military advantages and scope for economy in supporting logistics and training.

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