HC Deb 18 July 1984 vol 64 c248W
Mr. J. Enoch Powell

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if he will publish in the Official Report his reply of 2 July to the right hon. Member for South Down on the subject of security at American bases in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Heseltine

Yes. The text of my reply is as followsI am replying to your letter of 31st May to Leon Brittan in which you asked about the statutory basis for security arrangements at United States bases in this country and for dealing with intruders into those bases. There is no specific statutory provision authorising security arrangements at United States bases, nor is one needed. Facilities are made available to the forces stationed in this country as part of the NATO Alliance and, in accordance with Article VII, paragraph 10 of the 1951 NATO Status of Forces Agreement (Cmnd 9363), which sets out the terms under which the forces of one NATO member State are stationed in the territory of another, the United States authorities are permitted as a matter of policy to police those premises and to maintain order and security within them. Similar arrangements do, of course, apply to British bases in Germany. In ensuring the security of American bases and, to take your second point, in dealing wih intruders, the United States authorities are bound by the relevant provisions of United Kingdom law. Although the Visiting Forces Act 1952 does not address these specific issues, it does establish the legal position of visiting forces generally. S.8 has the effect of enabling visiting servicemen to be placed in the same position as their British counterparts, and this was done by the Visiting Forces (Application of Law) Order 1965. Generally speaking, therefore, United States service personnel have the same powers as British Service personnel who, in the context of your enquiry, are in the same position as the ordinary citizen. As such they enjoy the same powers to deal with trespassers, including the right to use reasonable force to remove them if they refuse to leave when asked, and to arrest an individual for breach of the peace. Under the Criminal Law Act 1967 a person also has a power of arrest in respect of an arrestable offence and, depending upon the circumstances there may also be available powers under the Official Secrets Act byelaws made under the Military Lands Act 1892. I hope this will be of help to you.