HC Deb 26 June 1989 vol 155 c371W
Mr. Boyes

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what will be the implications for British defence policy of the announced halving of Soviet defence spending by 1995.

Mr. Archie Hamilton

We welcome the recent announcement by the Soviet Prime Minister of plans to reduce the proportion of national income devoted to defence, but the implications for the future Soviet defence programme are far from clear, and we await further details with interest. In the meantime, the Soviet Union and its allies in the Warsaw pact continue to have a massive superiority in many types of conventional armaments in Europe. Our commitment to the mutual defence provided by NATO, and to NATO's policy of strength in defence combined with readiness for dialogue and co-operation with the East, will remain the foundation of our defence policy.