§ 41. Mr. David Atkinson
asked the Secretary of State for Defence when he last discussed with his North Atlantic Treaty Organisation counterparts the implications for NATO of a substantial British military presence in the South Atlantic.
§ Mr. Heseltine
My predecessor discussed the implications for NATO of a substantial British military presence in the South Atlantic with his NATO colleagues at the Defence Planning Committee ministerial meeting on ½ December 1982. It has been made clear that British forces in the South Atlantic will remain committed to NATO, though they will be less readily available than when in the European theatre. In the longer term, the alliance will benefit from our decision—announced in the White Paper presented by the former Secretary of State for Defence in December 1982 (Cmnd. 8758)—to devote substantially more resources to defence than had been previously planned.