As I explained to the hon. Member in my reply of 21st January, the Anglo-American Combined Chiefs of Staff Board in Washington is retained to discharge military responsibilities on Anglo-American commitments and interests connected with combined Command problems of the last war. I see no occasion for a public statement.
Whereas my right hon. Friend told the House in January, as he has just indicated, that the combined Anglo-American Chief of Staffs Board in Washington was retained solely to wind up the problems of the last world war, and whereas in May my right hon. Friend told the House that there was no intention of winding up this board at all, would he not now come out into the open and tell us what this Board is up to and whether it is simply preparing for a third world war?
It is doing nothing of the kind mentioned in the last part of the supplementary question. I must say that it seems to me that there is no reason to publish abroad what we may deduce from the lessons of the last war which are necessarily being studied by those who had a great comradeship and co-operation through that great struggle.
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether this body is making any progress with the important question of standardisation, and whether this arrangement will also be extended to the Benelux countries who are to receive standard equipment from this country?
Would my right hon. Friend give an assurance that before any of the matters which are referred to in the Question are made public, they shall be preceded by a complete statement from another quarter as to the negotiations taking place between the general staff of the Soviet Union, the countries of Central Europe and certain general staffs associated with the Communist Party in the Far East?