Atlantic Treaty Powers (Co-ordination)

Oral Answers to Questions — Royal Navy – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th January 1951.

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Photo of Captain Robert Ryder Captain Robert Ryder , Merton and Morden 12:00 am, 24th January 1951

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty what arrangements exist for the co-ordination or command of naval forces of the Atlantic Treaty Powers in the event of hostilities; and whether it is proposed that Allied naval commanders should be appointed for the areas concerned.

Photo of Mr James Callaghan Mr James Callaghan , Cardiff South East

The arrangements being made cover the naval forces of all Atlantic Treaty Powers, and there must be common agreement to publication of command organisation details. No mutual decision has been taken in the matter of publication.

Photo of Captain Robert Ryder Captain Robert Ryder , Merton and Morden

Can the hon. Gentleman tell us whether General Eisenhower has any connection at all with naval organisation, or is it proposed to appoint a similar naval commander?

Photo of Mr James Callaghan Mr James Callaghan , Cardiff South East

If the details were published I am sure that that point would be included.

Photo of Mr Samuel Silverman Mr Samuel Silverman , Nelson and Colne

Will my hon. Friend bear in mind that co-ordination of command or co-ordination of Forces without co-ordination of policy can be a very dangerous thing?

Photo of Mr Ronald Ross Mr Ronald Ross , County Londonderry

Has any decision been taken, or have any mutual arrangements been arrived at, about who is to command, even if it is not possible to publish that information?

Photo of Mr James Callaghan Mr James Callaghan , Cardiff South East

This is a continuous work that has been going on for many months, and I should not care to indicate now the precise point that has been reached.

Photo of Captain Robert Ryder Captain Robert Ryder , Merton and Morden

Can we be assured that a suitable organisation is, in fact, in existence?

Photo of Mr James Callaghan Mr James Callaghan , Cardiff South East

I can certainly assure the House that this has been the subject of continuous study, and that a number of arrangements have been made.