Manœuvres, Germany (Observers)

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25 October 1949.

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Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire 12:00, 25 October 1949

asked the Secretary of State for War how many Press representatives and official nonmilitary observers were present at the recent military manœuvres in Germany; and what was the cost of entertaining them.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

Forty Press representatives and nine non-military observers were present at the recent military manœuvres in Germany. The total entertainment cost for the Press representatives was £69: no State expenditure was incurred in entertaining the other non-military observers.

Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire

Has the Minister seen complaints in the Press that this was overdone; and that the manœuvres were conducted more for publicity and for members of the Press than for military purposes?

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

So far as the Press representatives present were concerned, they certainly made no complaints of the kind. In regard to the manœuvres in general, they were all first-class and of great value to us.

Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire

asked the Secretary of State for War how many Russian officers were present at the recent manoeuvres in West Germany; and how many British officers were present at the recent Russian manoeuvres in East Germany.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

Four members of the Russian Military Mission were invited to the march past only at the recent manoeuvres in Western Germany and duly attended. No British officers were invited to the Russian manoeuvres in Eastern Germany.

Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire

Did the Russian officers have an opportunity of inspecting all the secret weapons?

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

I do not know about inspection of secret weapons, but they were there and their eyes seemed to be open all the time.