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I have consulted my right hon. Friend the Minister of Defence and other colleagues since the defence debate, and they all confirm that nothing of this kind has ever been said to them. Therefore, I think that the Government are justified in telling the Committee that, so far as we know, the United States Administration still attaches the greatest importance to Bomber Command and regards it as a valuable contribution to the overall Western deterrent.
This is certainly the view of the Pentagon and the United States Air Force. After all, they are the experts on the subject of deterrence. There are many reasons for this and one of them comes from geography. It is the fact that geo graphically it is not possible to attack the United States and the United Kingdom without giving prior warning to one or the other. If a missile is launched first at America, and the enemy wait until impact before launching an attack on England, we should get a warning—