§ The following Questions stood upon the Order Paper:
§ 49. Mr. R. EDWARDS
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what information he has received through the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation of negotiations by West Germany for military training facilities in Spain beyond the control of the Organisation; what representations have been made by Her Majesty's Government; and whether he will make a statement.
§ 50. Mr. WARBEY
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what discussions have taken place in the Council of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation regarding the provision of extraterritorial training and storage facilities for the armed forces of the German Federal Republic.
§ 51. Mr. WARBEY
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs by what authority agreements have been entered into for co-operation between the armed forces of the German Federal Republic, which are under the control of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and countries outside that Organisation; and if he will make a statement.
§ 52. Mr. FERNYHOUGH
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what consultations took place within the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation concerning the seeking of bases in Spain by the Federal Government of Germany.
§ 53. Dr. KING
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what discussions have taken place within the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation regarding the use of training grounds in Spain by Western German Forces under the control of the Organisation; and what policy was put forward by Her Majesty's Government in this regard.
§ 54. Mr. SWINGLER
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs on what date the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Council considered the proposal of the West German Government to apply for bases in Spain; and how the British representative voted on the matter.
§ 55. Mr. ZILLIACUS
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will instruct the British representatives on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to oppose the West German Government's proposal to acquire training, firing range, and military storage facilities in Spain.
§ 57. Mr. SHINWELL
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what information he has received from the United Kingdom representative in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation regarding the dissatisfaction of the West German Government with the present facilities provided for them for military training and storage of equipment.
§ 62. Mr. DRIBERG
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what information he has now obtained on the extent to which arrangements are already being made for the establishment in Spain of West German missile bases or other military installations; and what further action he has taken to prevent these developments.
§ 63. Mr. EMRYS HUGHES
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why Her Majesty's Government is opposed to the German Government's plans for military bases of supply depots in Spain, instead of seeking them in other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries.
§ 64. Mr. HEALEY
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what arrangements he has proposed to enable the Arms Control Agency of Western European Union to operate in Spain.
§ 65. Mr. A. HENDERSON
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to what extent Her Majesty's Government have been consulted by the Federal Government of Germany on their proposal to establish military installations in Spain.
§ 68. Sir T. MOORE
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why it was decided to protest at the action of the Western German Government in seeking to use Spain as a military base unilaterally, in view of the fact that the United States Government did the same thing nearly two years ago, and that both countries are members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation alliance.
§ 69. Mr. GRIMOND
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what is the practice of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation regarding the submission by member countries of any proposals for bases or training facilities outside the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's area to the standing group or to their fellow-members in the alliance.
§ The Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Selwyn Lloyd)
I will, with permission, answer Questions Nos. 49, 50 to 55 inclusive, 57, 62 to 65 inclusive, 66, 68, and 69 together.
As I told the House on 25th February, I heard from the Federal German authorities last month about the possibility of Germany having military facilities in Spain. The kind of facilities envisaged were supply depôts, hospital facilities and possibly training areas. The Federal 833 Government have made clear in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in the past their need for such facilities, and they have been negotiating with certain North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries for them.
I held the view that it would be wiser for Germany to seek the required facilities in countries which are members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, whatever the practical merits. This view was made clear to the German authorities.
The matter has not yet come before the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Council.
Last week, a small German mission was sent to Spain for discussion with the Spanish authorities. Since news of that appeared in the newspapers. I have been in further communication with the German Government. I have been assured, first, that these talks have been purely exploratory. They have not reached the stage of negotiations such as have been held with several other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Governments. Secondly, that it is not and never has been a question of military bases for Germany in Spain in the sense of combat installations; and, thirdly, as the Federal Chancellor declared on 27th February, the Federal Government will only undertake negotiations and further steps in this matter in agreement with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
I welcome this statement of the German Chancellor. There is a corresponding obligation, of course, on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries to provide such facilities as are judged militarily necessary, and which need to be outside the territory of the Federal Republic.
The hon. Member for Bilston (Mr. R. Edwards) asked me, on 25th February, whether I was aware that negotiations, and I quote his actual words.are well advanced for the building of a German missile establishment in Bilbao…"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 25th February, 1960, Vol. 618, c. 588.]I have been in communication with both the German and the Spanish Governments on that matter and have received categorical assurances that this is not true.
So far as the question of my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for 834 Croydon North-East (Vice-Admiral Hughes Hallett), on 25th February, is concerned, he was correct in saying that the signatories of the revised Brussels Treaty accept the control of the Agency on the whole of the mainland of Europe not just on their own territory.
§ Mr. R. Edwards
I thank the Foreign Secretary for that statement, but is he aware that just outside Bilbao there is a subsidiary company of I. G. Farben Industries Limited, which is wholly German-owned and which should have been decartelised under the Peace Treaty, which at this moment is producing guided missiles and stockpiling them for the German Army? Is he aware that they have been producing them for many months for the Spanish Army? I will give the right hon. Gentleman all the details if he requires them.
Is the Foreign Secretary aware that only last Monday this military mission referred to met the Spanish General Staff, and that the only item on the agenda was German bases in Spain? Is he further aware that Alfred Krupps, an ex-war criminal, visited Bilbao in December last year, and that following his visit a £3 million loan was arranged for the huge steel factory in Bilbao, and that all that money was guaranteed by the German Government? In the light of these facts, will the right hon. and learned Gentleman try to pursue more vigorously the inquiries which are supposed to have been made?
§ Mr. Lloyd
The steel factory has nothing to do with arms production. The allegation which the hon. Gentleman made was that negotiations were well advanced for the building of a German missile establishment in Bilbao. I inquired into that matter and I have had categorical assurances from both Governments that that is not the case. I will, of course, investigate any other allegations which the hon. Gentleman makes. I am a little surprised that he should be so precisely informed as to exactly what happened between the visiting mission and members of the Spanish General Staff.
§ Mr. Warbey
Can the Foreign Secretary point to anything in the agreements and treaties which West Germany entered into—N.A.T.O. and W.E.U.—to prevent Germany from entering into 835 military co-operation with Spain, including the manufacture and testing of nuclear weapons on Spanish soil? The right hon. and learned Gentleman told us during the foreign affairs debate that we ought to anticipate the natural and probable consequences of the decisions taken in 1954. Are we not now witnessing the natural and probable consequences of the Government's own misguided policy?
§ Mr. Lloyd
I think that that is a question of argument. I was pointing out that it was the natural consequence of the policy of the Government before us. As for the manufacture of nuclear weapons, the German Government stated categorically that they did not intend to manufacture these weapons on German soil or anywhere else. They have no intention of doing that, and I believe that statement of their policy.
§ Mr. Healey
I thank the Foreign Secretary for answering all those questions on a matter which is exciting very wide public concern in this country. May I ask one or two questions about his statement? First, is he aware that Dr. Adenauer, during the weekend, stated that the soundings and negotiations in this matter were being carried on only in agreement with N.A.T.O.?
Furthermore, the official spokesman of the West German Foreign Affairs Ministry, at Bonn, stated that the ambassadors of the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and France were consulted on this matter some time ago, and gave the German action their blessing. Can the right hon. and learned Gentleman assure the House that these statements are, to say the least of it, highly inaccurate?
May I, next, ask the right hon. and learned Gentleman to what extent a N.A.T.O. decision on this matter—and we gather that one has not get been taken will require the unanimous support of all the N.A.T.O. Council members? In other words, is the Foreign Secretary in a position to veto a favourable decision on this matter in the N.A.T.O. Council?
Now may I repeat the question asked by my hon. Friend? Is it not the case that an agreement of this nature between Germany and Spain would be wholly incompatible with the Paris Agreements, 836 under which this House and other Parliaments in Europe agreed to the rearming of Western Germany? Is it not the case that the Western European Union Arms Control Agency has no right whatever to visit and inspect stockpiles of arms in Spain?
Finally, what N.A.T.O. strategy exists which would require the German Government to stockpile 2 million tons of stores for the German forces in Spain, 1,000 miles away from the possible battlefield?
§ Mr. Lloyd
The hon. Gentleman has asked a large number of supplementary questions and I will try to deal with them.
As to the statement which he alleged that Dr. Adenauer had made about N.A.T.O. consent, I think that is based on a misreading of the statement. [HON. MEMBERS: "Misreading by whom?"] By the hon. Gentleman. The fact is—and I would have thought that there would have been some appreciation of this fact—that the Chancellor stated that he would not proceed except with the agreement of N.A.T.O. which, so far as the future is concerned, is a matter of considerable importance.
The suggestion that our ambassadors had been consulted and had agreed is not true. It was considered—and this view has been expressed by me in a number of ways to the German Government—that it would be wiser to seek the facilities in countries which are members of N.A.T.O.
As to the decisions of N.A.T.O. being unanimous, there is, as the hon. Gentleman knows, no provision about voting, and, therefore, all decisions have to command the support of all N.A.T.O. countries.
Whether the proposal would be contrary to the W.E.U. Treaty depends on the nature of the arrangements. Hon. Gentlemen all the time seem to assume that there is some plan for the manufacture of weapons or the use and development of bases. There are no specific proposals. I cannot conceive that the storage of materials would be contrary to the W.E.U. Treaty, but it seems to me that it would involve with it adequate inspection, by permission of the Spanish Government, on the part of the Arms Control Agency. Unless 837 Germany could arrange such inspection she should not enter into any such agreement.
With regard to whether it would be reasonable to store 2 million tons of materials in Spain, we must look at the specific proposals when we get them.
Then there is the idea that it is completely unreasonable for the Federal Republic to seek training facilities. I would remind hon. Members that the average width of the German Federal Republic is 160 miles, and that a modern fighter aircraft can cover that distance in 10 or 15 minutes. In fact, there was a recent case of a pilot who was not properly trained coming down in Czechoslovakia. The danger of incidents of that sort occurring, as a result of training taking place so close to the frontier, shows that it is a reasonable requirement that there should be training facilities in other N.A.T.O. countries.
§ Mr. Healey
No one will deny that the German Federal Republic may require additional military facilities to those which it enjoys at present. May we take it that the Foreign Secretary's answer means that Her Majesty's Government will not permit the N.A.T.O. Council to support moves such as have been suggested between the West German Government and Spain?
§ Sir T. Moore
Apart from the clumsy and somewhat inept way in which the West German Government have handled this operation, and also apart from the almost pathological and certainly illogical spite that the Opposition have for Spain, does my right hon. and learned Friend think that these proposals, if adopted, would add to the general efficiency of the N.A.T.O. defence organisation?
§ Mr. Gaitskell
Can the Foreign Secretary say how it comes about that despite 838 the apparent opposition of Her Majesty's Government, carrying with it, one might assume, the intention to veto any such decision in the N.A.T.O. Council, the West German Government nevertheless proceeded to go ahead with these negotiations with Spain? Would it not have been very much better if, before any talks of this kind took place, the whole matter was brought to the N.A.T.O. Council?
§ Mr. Lloyd
That is one view. I have said again and again that we have been assured that, in fact, there are no negotiations. The attitude of the West German Government is that until they knew that there was any possibility of arrangements being made which were helpful to them, talk of going to the N.A.T.O. Council would have been hypothetical.
§ Mr. Gaitskell
Perhaps the Foreign Secretary will tell us whether Her Majesty's Government are opposed to these arrangements. If they are opposed to them, and have made that plain to the German Government—[HON. MEMBERS: "What arrangements?"] Any arrangements whereby the German Government have military facilities of any kind in Spain. I ask the Foreign Secretary whether he is prepared, on behalf of Her Majesty's Government, to assent to any arrangements of this kind. If he is not, did he make that plain to the German Government? If so, is it the case that, despite his objection, they nevertheless went ahead with these negotiations?
§ Mr. Lloyd
There are no negotiations. As I understand it, there has been an inquiry. I repeat what I said before—and I think that it is a perfectly proper and reasonable statement—that it would be wiser for the German Federal Republic to get these facilities in countries which are already members of N.A.T.O. That is a quite clear statement of policy.
§ Dr. King
Does not the Foreign Secretary agree that his main job, and the main job of all the Foreign Secretaries in the world at the moment, is to reduce the tension and end the suspicion existing between East and West? That being so, is not he aware that the action of the West German Government, on the eve of the Summit Conference, is doing 839 much to jeopardise all the good work put in by statesmen on both sides of the Iron Curtain?
§ Mr. Shinwell
In reply to previous supplementary questions the Foreign Secretary said that the West German Government did not have available facilities for training their air force. Does that mean that the West German Government ought to receive his permission before making an application to train their air force in a country outside N.A.T.O.? Is that what he is saying?
§ Mr. Lloyd
I do not think that the right hon. Gentleman could have understood me. I was saying that the German Federal Republic had a case for seeking training facilities outside the Federal Republic, but that I thought it would be wiser to seek those facilities in countries which are members of N.A.T.O.
§ Mr. Shinwell
Does that mean that if the German Federal Government make such an application the right hon. and learned Gentleman, having doubted the wisdom of that procedure, will oppose it?
§ Mr. Grimond
Can the Foreign Secretary tell us whether when he told the West German Government that it would be wiser for them to seek facilities inside N.A.T.O. countries, they agreed? If they agreed, is the matter now to come before N.A.T.O., and is it for N.A.T.O. to decide whether these facilities will be provided in a N.A.T.O. country?
§ Mr. Speaker
Order. A large number of Questions are being answered, and if 840 we are to get through the list of those hon. Members who expect to be able to ask supplementary questions a greater degree of silence would help.
§ Mr. Driberg
Although it was before the right hon. and learned Gentleman's time as Foreign Secretary, does he recall that during the Spanish Civil War, when Questions were asked about German and Italian intervention in Spain, Conservative Ministers stood at the Dispatch Box and retailed to the House—quite innocently, of course—the lies fed to them by Hitler and Mussolini? Is he sure that he is not being fooled again?
§ Mr. Lloyd
the hon Member does not serve the cause of stability and the defence of Western Europe by drawing that kind of comparison. No comparison can be made between the Federal Republic of Germany under Chancellor Adenauer and the Third Reich under Hitler.
As for our relations with Spain, we wish to improve them. We believe that the Spanish and British people have very much in common, and that the worst way of trying to improve relations is to make allegations about the internal affairs of Spain. We intend to go on trying to improve our relations with Spain. The Spanish Foreign Minister came here in the autumn and we had useful talks. I hope that he will come again this year so that we can follow up those talks. That is a much better way to deal with the question of Spain.
§ Mr. Zilliacus
Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that his replies have strengthened the suspicion that there is far more behind this business than meets the eye and that it is likely that Her Majesty's Government are preparing the ground not to get the German war department out of Spain, but to get Franco Spain into N.A.T.O. or in association with N.A.T.O.? Will he give a categorical assurance that Her Majesty's Government will veto any proposal whatsoever, from N.A.T.O. or otherwise, to have military training facilities for Germany in Franco Spain?
§ Mr. A. Henderson
Can the right hon. and learned Gentleman say whether the Federal German Government, before 841 sending their delegates to Spain, made any official report to the N.A.T.O. organisation as such, stressing their need for these military bases and training centres?
§ Mr. Lloyd
I do not think the Federal Government made any specific request, and this is where I think that there was a misunderstanding about the Chancellor's statement. He did say that they had repeatedly brought up this question of facilities outside the territory of the Federal Republic. It is true that the question has been brought up a number of times and I think that one of the consequences of this controversy will be that this request will be examined with greater dispatch than before.
§ Mr. Wade
Does the Foreign Secretary consider that there is any real integration of military activities regarding supplies, supply depots and facilities for training? Does not Britain also claim the right to independent action in these matters in Europe? What is the attitude of Britain when other member nations, including the German Federal Republic, act independently in spite of our advice?
§ Mr. Mendelson
May I ask the Foreign Secretary whether he is aware that it is being asserted in Foreign Office circles in Bonn that some time ago the West German Government approached the N.A.T.O. Commander, General Norstad, and members of his planning staff on the question of facilities in Spain? Is it right that their reaction was not unfavourable? Can the right hon. and learned Gentleman tell the House what information he has on that matter?