§ 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. 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.