HL Deb 27 June 1989 vol 509 cc729-30WA
Lord Kennet

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the NATO authorities have fully informed them how it came about that the designated Active Edge was timed to take place during the arrival of President Gorbachev in the Federal Republic of Germany; and whether they are taking steps to ensure that officers organising such exercises are at all times under political control.

The Minister of State for Defence Procurement (Lord Trefgarne)

Active Edge is a routine no-notice readiness exercise held twice yearly. The most recent such exercise took place, on the date and in the format planned, on 12th June 1989. It did not include the exercise deployment of forces outside their garrisons.

Planning for NATO military exercises is overseen by the appropriate NATO committees with the aim, among other things, of taking any political factors fully into account. The forward exercise programme is kept under continuous review in the light of current events and developments.