§ Mr. Deakins
asked the Secretary of State for Defence what evidence is available to his Department about any aggressive intentions of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics towards the United Kingdom.
§ Mr. Blaker
The Soviet Union has deployed within range of the United Kingdom nearly 500 intermediate range ballistic missiles—comprising some 250 SS4 and SS5 and 243 SS20 with 729 warheads—together with 300 medium bombers, as well as land and sea-based strategic missiles. The size and disposition of Soviet forces in Europe are far in excess of what is necessary for defence alone. The massive and continuing effort to build up these forces, Soviet readiness to use force — as in Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan — and their commitment to an ideology that envisages the ultimate triumph of the Soviet version of communism constitute a threat to the security of this country that cannot be ignored.