asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether, in view of the need for active defence measures, it is his policy to work for the incorporation of Spain in the system of Western European defence, or to arrive at an agreement with the Spanish Government aimed at securing the strategic interests of the Western Powers.
His Majesty's Government have not changed their view expressed by the Prime Minister in his reply to the hon. Member for Hornsey (Mr. Gammans) on 25th July last year, to the effect that at the present time the collaboration of the Atlantic Pact countries against Soviet Communism would not be strengthened by the closer association of Spain with the system of Western European defence.
Does that reply mean that no diplomatic preparations have been made for the planning of joint defence with Spain in the case of an outbreak of war, and, if so, is it not leaving these arrangements dangerously late in view of vital British strategic interests?
I am unaware of any such arrangements having been made. I would add that the argument that on practical grounds Spain would be useful at the present time is open to question as it would be foolish to provide arms for Spain before the Western Powers were themselves fully equipped.
Yugoslavia is not a member of N.A.T.O., and merely to be anti-Communist, as Spain is, is not a sufficient qualification for close relationship with the North Atlantic Powers.