asked the Minister of Defence if the Commonwealth Governments were consulted before the decision to make the proposed Service cuts in manpower was taken; and what steps are being taken to ensure adequate defence of the Commonwealth and Empire in the light of our present and future economic position.
Would the right hon. Gentleman then have the House understand that the Dominions were not given any opportunity of putting forward their points of view regarding Commonwealth defence in the light of defence cuts, and does he not think that is highly important from the point of view of Commonwealth defence being treated as a whole?
We are certainly doing our best to have Commonwealth defence treated as a whole, but it would not have been the right thing to consult the Commonwealth countries directly on proposals for the purpose of dealing with our internal economy.
Does not the right hon. Gentleman now agree that it is quite inadequate to have four liaison officers in the Dominions as the only link from a Commonwealth defence point of view?
No, I think in the present situation what is being done is adequate, but we shall at all times seek to make the liaison between the Commonwealth Governments more close.