HC Deb 27 February 1976 vol 906 cc361-2W
Mr. Wall

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what has been the average annual expenditure on defence of the Warsaw Pact and of NATO, respectively, during each of the last 15 years.

Mr. Mason

Precise comparisons between NATO and Warsaw Pact expenditure are complicated by the different economic and pricing systems of the alliances, the covert nature of Pact policy, and the lack of realistic exchange rates for Pact countries. Figures for the Warsaw Pact are not readily available over 15 years. Total NATO expenditure, and subject to the above limitations that for the Warsaw Pact over the last five years, are:

NATO Warsaw Pact
$ million $ million
1971 105,000 99,000
1972 113,500 104,000
1973 121,600 110,000
1974 135,100 116,400
1975 149,300 125,700

Average expenditure per country over the same period ranges from $7.5 billion to $10.7 billion for NATO, and $14.1 billion to $18.0 billion for the Warsaw Pact.

Mr. Gow

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he had with other NATO defence Ministers before the announcement of further defence cuts was made in the White Paper on Public Expenditure published in 19th February.

Mr. Mason

I informed our allies that the annual review of public expenditure covered all expenditure programmes but that I would not agree to cuts in defence expenditure that would impinge upon the effectiveness of our contribution to the Alliance. I consider that the new defence expenditure targets set out in Cmnd. 6393 honour that pledge. I also promised to inform the Alliance of the outcome for defence. I have now done so and invited their views.

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