Malagasy Republic (Defence)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Defence – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th April 1967.

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Photo of Mr Simon Digby Mr Simon Digby , West Dorset 12:00 am, 12th April 1967

asked the Secretary of State for Defence what defence agreement exists with the Malagasy Republic; when it was published; and what has been the total cost to Defence Votes of operating from Majunga and other places in Malagasy during the last year.

Photo of Mr Denis Healey Mr Denis Healey , Leeds East

We have no defence agreement with the Malagasy Republic. By arrangement with the Malagasy Government Royal Air Force Shackletons are undertaking patrols from Majunga in pursuance of the Security Council resolution of 9th April, 1966. The additional cost to Defence Votes of operating from Majunga during the 12-month period which has so far elapsed is about £175,000.

Photo of Mr Simon Digby Mr Simon Digby , West Dorset

Would it not have been more tactful to approach the French Government in the first place, in view of its defence agreement with this Republic, rather than annoy it at a critical time in our relations with France?

Photo of Mr Denis Healey Mr Denis Healey , Leeds East

The hon. Gentleman must recognise that the Malagasy Republic is an independent State.