HC Deb 15 June 1976 vol 913 cc301-2
26. Mr. Andrew F. Bennett

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of the Nugent Committee's recommendations on defence have so far been carried out in full; and what percentage he intends to carry out.

Mr. Robert C. Brown

Approximately 60 per cent. of the Nugent Committee's recommendations on individual sites have been carried out in full. We shall carry out the remaining recommendations, which were accepted in our statement on the Report of the Defence Lands Committee 1971–73, Cmnd. 5714, as far as possible bearing in mind the economic situation and the changing circumstances to which I drew to the attention of the House in the debate on 17th January 1975—[Vol. 884, c. 900].

Mr. Bennett

I thank the Minister for that reply. Does he agree that a figure of 60 per cent. is very disappointing, in view of the fact that the Nugent Committee was generous in its assessment to the Ministry of Defence? Does he also agree that as a result of the recent review of defence procedures, there should be further reductions in the requirements for land?

Mr. Brown

No, I do not agree that a figure of 60 per cent. in such a short time represents a poor performance. In regard to defence reviews we now propose to release the Nancecuke site, which Nugent recommended we should retain. But the concentration of defence forces in the European threatre and the need to economise in the use of overseas training areas puts even greater pressure on training areas in the United Kingdom.